Barcelona striker's bronze structure hacked down in Argentina

Messi's bronze sculpture on Paseo de la Gloria was vandalised on Monday, chopped off at the ankles with the body left on the pavement.

The FC Barcelona forward’s bronze sculpture on Paseo de la Gloria was vandalised on Monday, chopped off at the ankles with the body left on the pavement.

Appropriately perhaps, given how difficult it is to pry it away from him on the pitch, the ball remained stuck to the left boot at the base of the statue.

Since being installed in June, 2016 the statue has been a regular target for vandals and in January it was cut in half at the waist.

Messi, five-times world player of the year, scored a hat-trick against Ecuador in October to secure Argentina’s passage to next year’s World Cup in the final South American qualifying match.

But some Argentina supporters believe the 30-year-old has been a disappointment for the national team, having failed to lead them to World Cup or Copa America glory.

Messi’s Argentina lost the 2014 World Cup final against Germany and suffered defeats by Chile in the 2015 and 2016 Copa America finals.

He retired from international football in June last year but changed his mind two months later.

More from category

Recommended articles

'Pedri like Messi' - Reactions as Barcelona beat PUMAS 6-0 to win Joan Gamper Trophy [Photos]

'Pedri like Messi' - Reactions as Barcelona beat PUMAS 6-0 to win Joan Gamper Trophy [Photos]

Bologna REJECT Manchester United's £7m bid for Ex-Premier League star

Bologna REJECT Manchester United's £7m bid for Ex-Premier League star

'Erling Haaland is scary' - Reactions as Manchester City beat West Ham 2-0 in opener

'Erling Haaland is scary' - Reactions as Manchester City beat West Ham 2-0 in opener

'Ronaldo can leave' - Reactions as 'toothless' Manchester still dis-United by Brighton

'Ronaldo can leave' - Reactions as 'toothless' Manchester still dis-United by Brighton

Omanyala misses chance to shine as Kenya 4X100meters team disqualified at finals

Omanyala misses chance to shine as Kenya 4X100meters team disqualified at finals

Omanyala powers 4X100 relay team into finals as Abraham Kibiwot bags another gold for Kenya

Omanyala powers 4X100 relay team into finals as Abraham Kibiwot bags another gold for Kenya