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Vandalism leaves Messi monument headless

AAP logoAAP 9/01/2017 By Warwick Barr

A monument to Lionel Messi in the Argentine capital has lost its head - in fact, its entire torso - in an apparent act of vandalism, Buenos Aires city officials told dpa Monday.

The statue of the Argentine football star is one of several national sporting heroes honoured along the Costanera Sur park's Paseo de la Gloria (Walk of Glory).

It was unveiled in June 2016, just days after Argentina's defeat by Chile in the Copa America Centenario final.

The fibreglass and resin statue depicted Messi mid-run, dribbling a football on his left foot.

But the top half has now somehow gone missing, leaving just a pair of legs and the ball.

City officials said the statue will be repaired.

Monday was not the best day for Messi - in addition to his statue being destroyed, he lost out to Portuguese rival Cristiano Ronaldo for the FIFA best player of 2016 award at a gala in Zurich.

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