A statue of Barcelona’s star, Lionel Messi have been vandalized by unknown persons.

The statue, which was a statue to the Argentine captain, was unveiled during 2016 by city mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, during the campaign to convince Messi to reverse his international retirement following the Copa America final defeat.

But the sculpture, located on the banks of the Rio de la Plata as part of a ‘Glory Walkway’ honouring Argentine sports stars, was cut in half in unclear circumstances.

“The statue of Lionel Messi fell victim to an act of vandalism that left the footballer’s sculpture without its top half,” a statement from the Buenos Aires city government read.

“The City Government is now working on its repair.”

As well as Messi, field hockey legend Luciana Aymar, tennis stars Gabriela Sabatini and Guillermo Vilas, San Antonio Spurs idol Manu GinĂ³bili and ex-Formula One champion Juan Manuel Fangio also have likenesses on the Walkway.