Football: Lionel Messi's statue in Buenos Aires vandalised again

A statue of Argentina's Lionel Messi has been hacked down for the second time this year.
A view of the vandalized sculpture of Argentinian soccer player Lionel Messi at the Paseo de las Glorias in Buenos Aires, on Dec 4.
A view of the vandalized sculpture of Argentinian soccer player Lionel Messi at the Paseo de las Glorias in Buenos Aires, on Dec 4. PHOTO: REUTERS

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - The statue of Lionel Messi in Buenos Aires has been vandalised again - this time the Argentine hero was cut off at the ankles between Sunday night (Dec 3) and Monday morning.

His boots still chased a ball on the plinth while the severed body was pushed to the ground and left lying there.

The statue was erected in June last year after Messi had announced his retirement, brief as it turned out, from the national team.

It was first attacked in early January when the Barcelona star was sliced in half across the torso.

The statue is on the Promenade de Glorias, alongside monuments to other Argentinian sporting heros including National Basketball Association veteran Manu Ginobili, tennis star Guillermo Vilas and Formula One great Juan Manuel Fangio.

Messi's neighbours have not been immune to attack. In 2016, Gabriela Sabatini's tennis racket was stolen.