Vandals chop up statue of Messi
A statue in Buenos Aires of soccer superstar Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Argentine national team fame has been vandalized, with the head, torso and arms all being removed, leaving only the legs and a soccer ball on display.
The statue was installed in June, shortly after Argentina and Messi lost the final of the Copa America against Chile.
The city government says it is working to repair the statue.
The vandalism took place on Monday, just hours after Cristiano Ronaldo was named FIFA’s best player of the season for the fourth time. Messi, who finished second in the voting, has won the award five times.
The Messi statue is among several in the area that are dedicated to Argentine sports stars. They include a figure of basketball player Manu Ginobili, tennis players Gabriela Sabatini and Guillermo Vilas, Formula One champion Juan Manuel Fangio, and field hockey player Luciana Aymar.
Vandals also stole the racket from Sabatini’s statue.
A statue of Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi (top), which was unveiled in June in Buenos Aires, stands destroyed by vandals (below) on Monday,