When Moscow confectioners found out Lionel Messi would be celebrating his birthday during the World Cup, they decided he needed a gift that measured up - a life-size chocolate sculpture in his likeness.
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 on Sunday.
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“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.
“We will give Lionel Messi to Lionel Messi,” Malkina said, laughing.
The sculpture will also be put on display in Bronnitsy, a town located about 50 kilometers from Moscow that is Argentina’s base during the month-long tournament.
Messi has had an underwhelming World Cup for Argentina so far. He missed a penalty in their 1-1 draw with