A statue of Argentina and Barcelona superstar footballer, 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 this summer, was found missing its top half.
The tribute to the Barcelona star was unveiled in 2016 by city mayor, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, during the campaign to convince Messi to reverse his international retirement following the Copa America final defeat.
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. Its repair is now being worked on,” the Buenos Aires city government said in a statement.
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.