A man has stolen the foundation blocks laid by Lionel Messi in Gabon demanding for a ransom before it will be released
The foundation block which was laid by Lionel Messi during his recent trip to Gabon has been stolen.
The four-time Ballon d'Or winner was in Gabon last week as guest of President Ali Bongo to lay foundations for a new stadium in the city of Port-Gentil which will host the 2017 African Cup of Nations.
In a hilarious turn of event, the block laid by Messi has been stolen by a man who is demanding 3m CFA before he can release it.
Messi's trip to Gabon last week made headlines after reports emerged that he was paid $3.7 by the president of Gabon, Al Bongo for the trip.
Messi also accompanied Bongo to the opening of one of his family restaurants and oppositions questioned his involvement with the president who they said is corrupt.
The Gabonese government have however denied the claims that they paid Messi for the trip.
“The Republic of Gabon strongly denies having transferred or having promised to transfer any sum of money to the Argentine international football player Lionel Messi, who was in Gabon from 17 to 18 July 2015 on the invitation of Ali Bongo,” the statement from the government read.
The opposition also accused Messi of showing the country disrespect by choosing to be dressed in shorts during the visit.
“The messiah of football arrived in Gabon like he were going to a zoo: dirty, unshaven and his hands in his pockets, looking for peanuts to throw to them!" a statement from the Union du Peuple Gabonais (UPG) party read.
“When you’re called Lionel Messi and you’re a multi-billionaire, you don’t have the right to present yourself to officials of a republic, even a banana one, with your hands in the pockets of a ripped, tattered pair of shorts.
“Gabon isn’t a zoo. We don’t know what the Argentine came to Gabon for, but we at least have the right to denounce his negligence and his lack of respect for standards and principles. We are uneasy with Messi’s attitude and his attire. Only for these reasons, linked to respect for the host country, do we condemn the footballer’s indelicateness, to say the least!”
Watch highlights of Lionel Messi's visit to Gabon below: