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Update After Barcelona, Lionel Messi's Argentine hometown dreams of player's return

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A mural of a young Lionel Messi in a Newell’s Old Boys jersey, tiny and barefoot with a soccer ball in front of him, inspires hundreds of young people at the Argentine club's youth school to dream of succeeding like their hometown hero.

Messi’s surprise decision to leave European club Barcelona earlier this week has sparked unlikely dreams in residents of Rosario, the city 300 kilometers (186 miles) north of Buenos Aires where he was born, that he would return to play with the local team, Newell’s Old Boys.

Hundreds of Newell’s fans formed a noisy and colorful caravan of vehicles Thursday that went from Rosario’s “Marcelo Bielsa” stadium to its Flag Monument, the symbol of this city on the banks of the Paraná River. Many participants donned red-and-black Newell’s jerseys and waved club flags, honking horns and setting off flares.

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