Only Lionel Messi’s legs and a ball predictably attached to his left boot remain of a statue erected in his honour in Argentina.
The sculpture was unveiled only last June and was part of a campaign to get the Barcelona maestro to reconsider his international retirement – which he’s since done.
Messi’s likeness was broken at the waste, leaving a noticeable gap in the Glory Walkway featuring a host of star’s statues now as it’s been taken away to be restored.
The vandalism 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 on Monday night.
But it will be replaced and standing in its rightful place as soon as possible, the Buenos Aires Government said in a statement.
“The statue of Lionel Messi fell victim to an act of vandalism that left the footballer’s sculpture without its top half,” they said.
“The City Government is now working on its repair.”
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.
It was a piece of Messi magic which won them a point, with a 90th minute free-kick creeping under the crossbar. But it was also two dropped points that give Real Madrid and unwanted buffer going into the second half of the season.