Grand gesture after grand gesture, Argentina has been pulling out all the stops to lure Lionel Messi back to la Sección following his announcement that he would retire from the national team Sunday night. Tweets, illuminated streets signs, mixtapes and now statues and marches. Apparently, Argentina doesn’t handle breakups very well.
Yesterday, Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta inaugurated a statue to honor Messi in el Paseo de la Gloria next to other Argentine greats like tennis pro Guillermo Vilas and field hockey champion Luciana Aymar. Larreta announced the inauguration in a video testimony posted on Twitter, in which he took a moment to thank Messi for his humility, his genius and his talent but as you could probably predict, signed off with a #NoTeVayasLio.
“As a sign of all of our love and our support, we are going to inaugurate a statue of you,” Larreta announced with hopeful (and gleaming) eyes.
— H Rodríguez Larreta (@horaciorlarreta) June 27, 2016
Oh, the pressure. So this statue has been in the works for a while now but what opportune timing for the mayor to announce Messi’s immortalization. Yes, the best scorer in the history of la Sección is worthy of a life-size statue and yes, Argentina and Messi made a great pair but dare I say: maybe Messi would just rather be playing for Barcelona? Perish the thought!
While this is possible, it’s nothing I can see Argentina coming to accept any time soon. A march has been organized for this Saturday at 6 PM at the Obelisco for people to show their affection and of course, their desire for la Pulga to continue wearing Argentina’s jersey. 59,000 people have already confirmed their attendance on a Facebook event and 65,000 more have expressed interest.
So if you’ve worn out social media with #NoTeVayasLio or your apathetic roommate is sick of listening to you cry over Argentina’s superstar, there will be plenty of sympathizers at the Obelisco this Saturday to discuss your feels with.