Buenos Aires: Two days after Lionel Messi said he would never play for Argentina again, a statue of him was unveiled here.
The bronze statue of the talismanic forward was unveiled on Wednesday by Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Larreta who believes the Barcelona star 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.
What followed was a huge uproar and a national effort to persuade the 29-year-old to play on. Even the President of the country and legendary footballer Diego Maradona have asked him not to quit so soon.
“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’.”
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.