Worrying Trend in Argentina
Argentina is one of those countries where football is practised as a religion, and the players are treated like Gods. Yet, one of the most worrying trends of recent times has been fanaticism, the one which reeks of more negativity than ever before. The relationship between many of the Argentine fans and Lionel Messi has hit a rock bottom in recent times. It all started after the loss of the 2014 World Cup Final, after which Messi was accused of not giving it his all for the national shirt.
Can't understand Messi/Maradona argument saying that Maradona is better because he won WC. Does that mean George Best can't be in same class
— Danny Higginbotham (@Higginbotham05) June 27, 2016
It was not until his decision to retire from international football that fans realised what they will be missing. Then started an outpour of love and tribute across the country, each asking him to come back to don the blue and white stripes again.
Much to Messi’s despair, another saddening incident took place back home a few days back. Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital which also houses the ‘Promenade of Glory’, dedicated to sports legends of Argentina, was vandalised. The footballing star’s statue was cut in half, with the part above the waist being stolen by the vandals. The statue was put up last summer, when Messi infamously retired from the international side, before rescinding from the decision recently. It was a bronze statue featuring Messi with a ball at his feet.
The street also displays casts of other famous Argentine sports stars such as tennis player Gabriela Sabatini and basketball player Manuel Ginobili. This is not the first act of vandalism against the statues and sculptures of sports stars. Similar acts have taken place previously at the place. The growing trend of such acts has the common public worried about the security. Though, the local Government body said that the repair work is on and the statue will be resurrected soon.
One very interesting fact worth noting is that the incident took place the very same day on which Ronaldo beat Messi to become FIFA Men’s Player of the Year. Though, Ronaldo’s statue itself was subject to such vandalism last year when someone damaged it and painted ” Messi 10″ on it.
Though, it seems very unlikely that this has anything to do with the cold relations between some fans and Messi. Messi has had very unusual few recent months, both on and off the pitch.