Lionel Messi showed off his latest artistic endeavour as Argentina trained ahead of Thursday’s key World Cup qualifier against Brazil.
The 29-year-old, who is firmly back in Edgardo Bauza’s plans after initially declaring he would retire from international football in June, was seen sporting a new tattoo on his lower left leg.
The Barcelona star has covered up his old ink – which comprised an assortment of flowers, footballs, wings and a sword – with an entire dark ‘sock’ in which the number 10 and the hand print of his son Thiago can be seen.
Argentina posted a picture of Messi’s new look on their official Twitter account, along with the words: “The 10 tattooed on the left peg, and the flag of Argentina in the heart”.
The tattoo has, almost inevitably, caused a stir among supporters on social media – especially given that Barca team-mate Neymar, whom he will face in Belo Horizonte, displayed fresh designs on both legs only last month.
Whatever the reason behind the change, Argentina fans will be hoping it serves as a good luck charm for their side, given they sit five points behind leaders Brazil in the South American qualifying section after 10 matches.
La 10 tatuada en la zurda y la bandera argentina en el corazón pic.twitter.com/yIsySr673Y
— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) November 8, 2016