A statue of Lionel Messi has been unveiled in Buenos Aires

Just two days after Lionel Messi said he’d never play for his country again, a statue of him has been unveiled in Buenos Aires.

The bronze statue in Messi’s honour was unveiled by Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Larreta, who said he is confident the 29-year-old will reverse his decision. 

Following Argentina’s defeat against Chile by Penalties in the Copa America final on Sunday, an emotional Messi immediately announced the end of his career with the national team.

Larretta said: “Without a doubt, I really want him to come back and without a doubt he is going to come back.


Messi missed a penalty in the final of the Copa America

“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’.”

Messi has won eight La Liga and four Champions League titles with Barcelona, but his only major international honour is an Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Games in Beijing.