Footballer Lionel Messi by-passed a much-needed opportunity to rest after a demanding but fruitful 2014/15 season to spend a few days in Gabon. Messi was in the West African Country at the invited of President Ali Bongo Ondimba and former team-mate Etoo, who has projects in the country.
According to Goal.com, Messi laid a foundation stone to one of the stadia that will host the 2017 Africa Cup nations.
“When I was in Barcelona a few years ago, I saw Messi and he said he would come to visit me in Libreville,” President Bong told media.
“It was a promise which he made to me. He is a man of honour, one who has kept his word. The calendar worked out well and it has corresponded with the laying of the first stone,” the Gabonese leader added.
Messi signed autographs for hundreds of fans that had lined up to see the football legend. However, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique was quoted saying the Barcelona and Argentina needs to rest leaving the star, Neymar and a host of other South American players out of the US pre-season squad because of the Copa America tournament.