Messi statue chopped off at ankles

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Maradona expressed reservations about the country's prospects following Friday's draw and said Argentina could not be playing "any worse than they are" under coach Jorge Sampaoli.

It was first vandalised early this year, when the head and arms were cut off. That marked the fourth time a Messi-led Argentina squad lost in the final of a major global tournament, including the 2007 and 2015 Copa America and the 2014 World Cup, and he had come under some criticism for not achieving better results.

Vandals cut down the sculpture of the iconic star from the ankles completely ruining
Vandals cut down the sculpture of the iconic star from the ankles completely ruining

That's a long lead-in to this story, in which Messi's statue in Buenos Aires has been chopped off at the ankles.

Messi had single handedly dragged his side to the World Cup with a hat-trick in the final qualifier against Ecuador.

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But mistrust mounted amid odd delays in the vote count and the sudden reversal of Nasralla's early lead. Hernandez held a lead of more than 46 000 votes over Nasralla before the last-stage count.

It's stated that in the past, Manchester City's efforts for Messi weren't completely serious, and were more half hopeful attempts, Marca state it was different this time, and the intentions were very real, regardless of what Pep Guardiola may say publicly.

Alongside the image of Messi stands other greats such as tennis stars Gabriela Sabatini and Guillermo Vilas, NBA basketball sensation Manu Ginobili and motorsport hero Juan Manuel Fangio.

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It's by some distance the tie of the round, with the Merseyside rivals going head-to-head at Anfield in the knockout competition. The Reds play a whopping eight games before that FA Cup fixture; including seven Premier League games.

Even though Messi is regarded as one of the best players in the history of the game, he does not exactly have a good relationship with many fans in his native country.

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