07:05 am
24 October 2016

Gabonese political party blast ‘dirty, unshaven’ Lionel Messi for turning up ‘dressed for the zoo’

Lionel Messi has angered a political party during his trip to Gabon.

The mercurial forward flew there earlier in the week as part of a five day trip around Africa. France Football reported that the gig paid €3.5 million.

But the trip hasn’t all been plain sailing as Messi has angered the Union of Gabonese People political party by turning up for the illustrious event ‘dressed for the zoo’.

It’s fair to say that Messi wasn’t in the snazziest gear when he met Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba. We know a jazzy polka-dot number that would have been suitable.

Instead he turned up in denim shorts and a t-shirt, provoking an extraordinary rant in which he was called a ‘multi-billionaire’ among other things.

To be fair, he is a billionaire in Gabonese currency.

Here’s the full rant: “The Messiah of football arrived as in a zoo in Gabon: dirty, unshaven and hands in pockets looking to swing their peanuts! When we called Lionel Messi and that is multi-billionaire, no one has the right to appear before officials of the same banana republic … hands in the pockets of a torn and ragged shorts .. . Hands in pockets, it is a total lack of manners appalling. The Gabon is still not a zoo! It is not known what the Argentine picked in Gabon but at least we have the right to terminate their neglect, lack of respect for the standards and principles. It is uncomfortable to the attitude and attire Messi. Just for these reasons related to compliance with the host country, we condemn the dishonesty of the footballer and this is the minimum!”

You can see the points they’re making. Does Messi deserve this criticism or is this rant completely unprovoked? You decide.

messi with gabon president, july 2015