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.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

Recommended articles

Minnows Equatorial Guinea win shoot-out to set up Senegal clash

Minnows Equatorial Guinea win shoot-out to set up Senegal clash

Salah takes Egypt through on penalties as two Cup of Nations matches moved

Salah takes Egypt through on penalties as two Cup of Nations matches moved

Salah scores decisive penalty as Egypt beat Ivory Coast in shoot-out

Salah scores decisive penalty as Egypt beat Ivory Coast in shoot-out

Infantino says biennial World Cup can 'give hope' to potential migrants

Infantino says biennial World Cup can 'give hope' to potential migrants

CAF moves two Cup of Nations games from Douala to Yaounde

CAF moves two Cup of Nations games from Douala to Yaounde

Everton target Pereira defends record amid fan unrest

Everton target Pereira defends record amid fan unrest

Hodgson confident of pulling off another great escape at Watford

Hodgson confident of pulling off another great escape at Watford

Wolves sign South Korea's Hwang Hee-chan on permanent deal

Wolves sign South Korea's Hwang Hee-chan on permanent deal

Mancini 'curious to see' what recalled Balotelli can offer

Mancini 'curious to see' what recalled Balotelli can offer