Regarded as arguably the best player on the planet, Lionel Messi is an iconic figure in global football. However, when the Barcelona star decided to ditch his dark brown locks for a blonde barnet, it took many by surprise.
Trends come and go in football, with some horrendous style choices throughout the years - while Messi's compatriot Rodrigo Palacio still sports the rat tail - but it is Samir Nasri and Aaron Ramsey who seemingly set the current blonde trend.
However, while many players may have pointlessly decided to take a bold risk with their new hairstyle choices, Messi has given a valid reason behind his choice to ditch his natural colour for a standout shade that has made him even more visible on the pitch.
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The 29-year-old is in the prime of his career and made a shock announcement earlier in the year to call an end to his international career. However, the forward has subsequently decided go back on that decision, making himself available for the Albiceleste at the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Copa America, should they qualify.
Messi was visibly distraught after, again, missing out on the Copa America to Chile this summer, missing a spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out. And the Barca star has put that, in part, down to the reason for his new look.
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"I made a change to start from zero. A lot had gone on, things had happened, and I said to myself: "I have to break this and start again,'" Messi told Sport.
The forward has been fated on the international stage, with it now consecutive years in which he has captained Argentina to the final, and come so close to lifting the trophy, only to lose on penalties.
"It was how I felt in that moment. Everything came crashing down. I felt like that [final] was the one, given how the team was and how we'd played in the competition. It was a huge disappointment," Messi added.
However, after taking time out to consider his future, Messi has vowed to continue to fight for his country, in hope that they can put their agony behind them and go one further by winning the World Cup in 2018.
Bright start for Barcelona
But while that will be a tough ask, Messi has already put his international woes to bed, as he aims for another trophy-laden season with Barcelona. By no surprise, the Catalans have already got their first trophy in the bag.
Messi's goal in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla helped Luis Enrique's side to a comfortable 5-0 victory last month, and perhaps the Argentine's hairstyle can be a lucky omen this campaign.
Can Lionel Messi help Argentina to win a major trophy before he retires? Give your opinion in the comment box below.
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