In pics | Argentina unveils new statue as fans plead with Messi to stay

  • IANS, Buenos Aires
  • Updated: Jun 30, 2016 11:11 IST
A boy wears a Lionel Messi jersey as he approaches the statue of Argentine football player Messi after it was unveiled in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Reuters Photo)

Two days after Lionel Messi said he would never play for Argentina again, a statue of him was unveiled in Buenos Aires.

A bronze statue of the Barcelona star was unveiled on Wednesday by Buenos Aires mayor Horacio Larreta who believes that Messi will reverse his decision.

On Sunday, after a heartbreaking loss to Chile in the Copa America final, Messi announced the end of his career with the blue and white army.

(Reuters Photo)

What followed was a huge uproar and a national effort to persuade the 29-year-old to play on. Argentina President Mauricio Macri and legendary footballer Diego Maradona have asked him not to quit.

(Reuters Photo)

“Without a doubt, I really want him to come back and without a doubt he is going to come back,” Larreta was quoted as saying by Skysports.

“I have this really overpowering faith that tells me that with him we are going to be champions in Russia (World Cup 2018). As the saying goes, ‘fourth time lucky’.”

(Reuters Photo)

Messi has only one Olympic gold medal to show for his tryst with the national team. He has lost three successive finals which include two Copa Americas (2015, 2016) and the 2014 World Cup.

A man poses with his dog by the statue of soccer star Lionel Messi shortly after it was unveiled in Buenos Aires. (AP Photo)

(Reuters Photo)

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