It's the second time it's been vandalized, standing in park with statues of Manu Ginobili amongst other Argentine sports stars.
Argentina did not book their spot in next year's World Cup until their final qualifier, a 3-1 win at Ecuador on October 10, when captain Messi scored a hat trick.
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This time around, perpetrators cut off the legs of the statue, located on the banks of the La Plata river, in the Buenos Aires port district of Puerto Madero on Sunday morning - leaving just the tops of his ankles.
This is not the first time Messi's statue has been vandalised.
In January, the monument was cut in half from the waist up before being repaired and re-erected by the city government days later.
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The statue was unveiled by mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta back in 2016 in a bid to convince Messi to come out of what was considered a premature retirement.
Even though Messi is regarded as one of the best players in the history of the game, he does not exactly have a good relationship with many fans in his native country. That stems not only from the losses in tournament finals, but also the fact that he left Argentina at age 13, after agreeing to join Barcelona's youth system.
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