So far it’s not been a great World Cup for Lionel Messi and Argentina, but when Moscow confectionery company Altufyevo discovered it was the star striker’s birthday on Sunday (June 24), they decided he needed a gift that measured up - a life-size chocolate sculpture in his likeness.
Reuters reported a team of five workers at Moscow’s Altufyevo Confectionery worked for nearly a week to carve the sculpture in 60 kg (132 lbs) of chocolate to mark the Argentina forward’s 31st birthday.
“We found out by chance that it was Messi’s birthday on June 24,” said chief confectioner Daria Malkina. “And we thought, ‘why not make Leo a gift, a chocolate sculpture of himself’?”
Malkina said she had been in touch with Messi’s representatives about handing him the sculpture, which will be mounted on a birthday cake.
The sculpture will also be put on display in Bronnitsy, a town located about 50kms (31 miles) from Moscow that is Argentina’s base during the month-long tournament.
Birthday celebrations may have to be put on hold, however, as Argentina are on the brink of exiting the Word Cup with only one point on the board and a final group game against Nigeria on Tuesday (June 26), which they must win and hope other results go their way to stay in the competition.