Lionel Messi’s missed penalty in Argentina’s Copa America Centenario defeat to Chile was somewhat overshadowed when he announced his retirement immediately after the final.
The Barcelona man took Argentina’s first penalty in the shootout, but blasted the ball high and wide of the goal.
One lucky fan caught the ball - the last ball Messi kicked in international football, unless he reconsiders his retirement - but having such a historic piece of memorabilia has its costs.
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Chilean Pedro Vasquez was in the perfect position to catch Messi’s penalty. Think Vasquez is delighted to possess the ball?
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The fan is fearful of the ball being stolen. And, having already been offered €27,000 for the item, he’s prepared to sell it.
"The truth is that if the ball becomes any more valuable, it would be a risk to have it in my house," he said, per Marca.
"I could sell it, it would depend on the circumstances.
"It is nice to have the ball, but if it keeps rising in price, I'll sell."
Vasquez might need to decide quickly what he wants to do with the ball. Although possibly out of hope more than anything, there are growing reports that Messi will come out of retirement and Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri, has even joined the fight to get the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to don the blue and white stripes again.
And should Messi return, it would significantly devalue Vasquez’s ball.
It’s quite a shame that he fears it being stolen. But Messi, arguably the greatest football of all time, has some incredibly fervent fans who would do anything to get some memorabilia.
It’s been a summer to forget for the 29-year-old, who received a suspended 21-month jail sentence for tax fraud a month after that Copa America heartache.
It was Messi’s fourth defeat in an international final, and third in three years. Given the pain he has suffered, you can understand his decision to step away from international football.
Presidents, fans and players will continue to plead with him to reconsider, but his former Barcelona teammate, Xavi, wants them to respect whatever Messi chooses to do.
"You must respect what he decides," Xavi told AS. "He could return to his national team next week if he wants to. He is the best in the world, and in history.
“We have to put ourselves in his situation. Leo is one of a generation of Argentina players who have suffered tremendous frustration.”
What would you do if you were in Vasquez's position? Let us know in the comments section below!
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