As the popular saying goes, a prophet is not without honour except in his own land. That is the situation Messi has found himself in. For years he has been the face of the Argentine national team, the heir to the immortal Maradona but some believe he has let them down.
There are many Argentines who believe he is more committed to Barcelona than he is to the national team and it may be such characters who are responsible for the latest act of vandalism on the player's person.
Just hours before Ronaldo was confirmed as the world's best player, the occasion was foreshadowed by a curious incident in his eternal rival's homeland. Vandals in Buenos Aires set upon a statue of Lionel Messi and cut it in two removing the the head, arms and torso.
The sculpture was erected in June last year after Messi retired from international football following his Copa America heartbreak. He later rescinded his decision and came out of retirement.
The Buenos Aires municipal government said in a statement:
'The statue of Lionel Messi... was victim of an act of vandalism that left the footballer's sculpture without its top half.'
The city government is already working on its repair.' Many Argentines are angry that what is arguably their best ever soccer side has failed to win any piece of silverware but the team can't be blamed for not trying. They have lost a World Cup final and two Copa America finals in the space of three years.More photos below...