Lionel Messi was inches away from being knocked down in the back of an open-top bus after returning to Argentina with the World Cup.
Messi and four teammates, including Leandro Paredes and Angel Di Maria, were on the back of the bus in Buenos Aires when it went under an overhead power line. Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodrigo De Paul noticed the cable with a moment to spare and told his teammates to get down.
The incident happened as Argentina fans partied into the night and welcomed their World Cup-winning side at around 2am.
Footage of the players’ near miss shows the cable knocking off a player’s baseball cap. Messi, who then held the World Cup trophy, appeared to laugh at the incident.
The commentator in the above clip says, “What a moment! Be careful, boys!”
The Argentinian government has made Tuesday a public holiday so fans can join in the celebrations across the country. The players themselves are expected to take the World Cup trophy to the Obelisk monument in central Buenos Aires, where victories throughout the tournament were celebrated by huge crowds.
It is estimated that more than a million fans gathered in the center of the city for the celebration which began when Argentina beat France in a penalty shootout after a final drama on Sunday.
Messi, 35, has announced the final as his last World Cup game, although he intends to play a few more games for the national team.
Meanwhile in France, the national team returned from Qatar to the cheers of the Parisian public.
A coach carrying stars including Kylian Mbappe, whose hat-trick in the final brought France back to the brink of defeat, traveled from Paris airport – where staff cheered them on as they stepped off the plane – and heart of the capital where thousands gathered to greet them.
Despite a dull and chilly December evening, several thousand people had gathered in Place de la Concorde in Paris.
Fans shot off fireworks, waved French tricolor flags and chanted “Allez Les Bleus” and the French national anthem as the team appeared on the balcony of the prestigious Hôtel de Crillon.
Coach Didier Deschamps and team captain Hugo Lloris waved to the crowd from the balcony. They were then joined by the rest of the squad and Mbappe, who drew a huge roar from the crowd.