Vandals again attack Lionel Messi statue in Argentina

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A search is still on to find the culprits of the act of vandalism, with a motive for the actions still not known.

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, a five-times world player of the year, scored a hat-trick against Ecuador in October to secure Argentina's passage to next year's World Cup in the final South American qualifying match.

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It has attracted vandals and thieves before, such as in January of this year, when the Messi statue was cut in half at the waist.

The statue, which was erected in June 2016, was cut off at the ankles and removed from its base.

Now, it doesn't make sense that any Argentine would want to destroy the statue of the its national figure, but some things nowadays are just hard to explain why.

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Supporters in Messi's homeland tend to view him as forever in the shadow of Diego Maradona, as a result of his inability to yet win a World Cup.

The statue is on the Promenade de Glorias, alongside monuments to other Argentinian sporting heros including NBA veteran Manu Ginobili, tennis star Guillermo Vilas and Formula One great Juan Manuel Fangio.

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