Lionel Messi Statue in Buenos Aires Has Its Legs Cut off

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 4, 2017

Young play with footballs next to a sculpture of Argentina's forward Lionel Messi, after it unveiling by Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on June 28, 2016. / AFP / JUAN MABROMATA        (Photo credit should read JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)

A statue of Argentina captain Lionel Messi in Buenos Aires has sustained vandalism for the second time this year after it had both of its legs removed.

Spanish news agency EFE reported the tribute in Paseo de las Glorias, an area in the Argentine capital, had been defaced, and Goal's Mootaz Chehade posted an image of the now legless statue (h/t Marca):

The statue was unveiled in June 2016 and was first hit by vandals in January 2017, making this the second time this year in which it has attracted unwanted attention.

The torso and head were cut off the first time it suffered damage:

The statue was unveiled by Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta and stands alongside other great Argentine athletes, such as 1986 World Cup winner Diego Maradona and Formula One world champion Juan Manuel Fangio.

It's clear Messi has his detractors as well as admirers in his native Argentina, and while a successful season continues in Barcelona, his image has taken a hit on home soil.