Messi statue vandalised in Argentina

Lionel Messi after Argetina lost Copa America 2016 to Chile

A statue of Argentina and Barcelona star, Lionel Messi, was vandalised in Buenos Aires on Monday.

The figure, which was constructed in an attempt to help convince the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to return to the national team during his brief retirement from the Albiceleste last summer, was found missing its top half.

This comes as Messi’s closest rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, scooped yet another world’s best player prize, perhaps the year’s most prestigious at FIFA revamped awards.

However, officials in the Argentine capital said repairs have already begun.

“The statue of Lionel Messi fell victim to an act of vandalism that left the footballer’s sculpture without its top half,” the Buenos Aires city government said in a statement on Tuesday morning.

“Its repair is now being worked on.”

The statue is located on the “Paseo de la Gloria” with other Argentine athletic figures such as tennis champion, Gabriela Sabatini, and NBA and world champion, Manu Ginobili, among others.

The start to Messi’s year has been less than ideal, with Luis Enrique opting to keep his players away from the Best FIFA Football Awards in Zurich following their last-gasp draw with Villarreal.