Face-off! Messi gets mural next to Ronaldo's in Kazan
After it became apparent Argentina were to stay in the hotel next to a Cristiano Ronaldo mural in Kazan ahead of the World Cup clash with France, Lionel Messi has been given his own a stone's throw from his rival.
Local artists created a piece of artwork dedicated to Ronaldo before the 2017 Confederations Cup, with the idea that he would be able to see it out of his window from the Ramada Hotel – where Portugal were based last year – next door.
Having defeated Nigeria late on in their final group game, Argentina secured a trip to Kazan to face France in the first knockout round on Saturday.
But, with France clinching their spot earlier and swiftly booking the nearby Mirage hotel, Argentina were left with the only other facility in the city which is licensed for World Cup teams; the Ramada and a view of Ronaldo's face stretched across three stories.
Ahead of #POR v #MAR later, I caught up with Cristiano Ronaldo...
This mural was done last year in the yard of a garage. It’s in a secluded location because it was done so Ronaldo would see it out of his Ramada hotel room at the Confederations Cup. #WorldCup @OmnisportNews pic.twitter.com/LAXQ89seP1
— Ryan Benson (@RyanRyanBenson) June 20, 2018
However, ahead of Messi's arrival, painters got to work on Friday morning and swiftly ensured the 31-year-old's face was plastered on a different wall in the same garage forecourt.
So, remember the #Ronaldo mural next to the hotel Lionel #Messi and #ARG are staying at?
Well, seemingly feeling a little guilty about the situation, the artist has given Messi his own in the same garage forecourt ahead of his arrival this afternoon. #WorldCup @OmnisportNews pic.twitter.com/87Cq3Gzop8
— Ryan Benson (@RyanRyanBenson) June 29, 2018
Whether it will be completely finished in time for the Barcelona superstar's arrival is another matter...