It’s not been a good week for Lionel Messi, with his Barcelona side only managing a draw against Villarreal to slip five points behind rivals Real Madrid, and Cristiano Ronaldo beating him to the inaugural FIFA Best Player Award in Zurich.

Sadly, it got even worse for the Argentine as reports came in that a statue of him had been vandalised in Buenos Aires.

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The statue was constructed after Messi announced his, ultimately very brief, retirement from international football last year.

But it has been found missing its top half, with the Buenos Aires city government forced to release a statement to explain what had happened.

“The statue of Lionel Messi fell victim to an act of vandalism that left the footballer’s sculpture without its top half.

“Its repair is now being worked on.”

The statue, which can be found alongside other Argentine sporting stars such as former tennis player Gabriela Sabatini and NBA world champion Manu Ginobili, is being repaired so hopefully it regains its top half very soon.

Fans were understandably upset by the treatment of the statue in honour of their hero…

Messi is, of course, not alone with a Ronaldo statue having been vandalised in the past too.

Still, it’s hard to imagine that Messi won’t find a way to respond in stunning fashion when Barcelona face Las Palmas at the Camp Nou on Saturday.