Lionel Messi had his left foot immortalised in a golden cast worth an eye-watering £3.4 million back in 2013.
Messi had just won his fourth Ballon d'Or when the cast was taken and the replica was created in early 2013, months after his outrageous 91-goal year.
An employee from Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka travelled to Spain for the crucial step in creating the gold model of Messi's wand of a left peg.
Messi took his left shoe and left sock off and placed his foot in containers filled with clay-like substances for the sculpting to take place.
He also signed his autograph for the complete seal of authentication.
Fascinating footage of the Barcelona and Argentina superstar having the metal cast taken was shared online and showed Messi in good spirits throughout.
It was then taken back to Japan for the magic to take place before it was officially unveiled in Tokyo.
Messi wasn't at the official ceremony but his brother Rodrigo was and marvelled.
"You can see each line on the foot. It's an impressive piece of work," he said, as per ESPN.
The foot of solid and 25 carat gold was valued at $5.3 million (£3.4 million), weighing 25kg and totalling 10 inches in height.
A Messi golden footprint also went on sale for $95,000, as well as a $42,000 gold foot half the size of the life-size version.
It went on sale and a good chunk of the funds went to the Leo Messi Foundation, ultimately helping those affected by the tsunami in Japan in March 2011.
"I’m honoured to have my foot recreated in pure gold," Messi said.
However, incidentally, the 'Golden Foot' award is the prestigious prize which he has never won.
It's been handed for 20 years, with previous winners including Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho.
Players have to be have to be over the age of 28 to be in contention and once you've won, you are not eligible again.
🗣️ “I’m very happy, I’m very proud.”— Football Daily (@footballdaily) December 22, 2022
Robert Lewandowski has been awarded the ‘Golden Foot’ award which is given to the best player in the calendar year voted by journalists.
It can only be won once and you have to be over the age of 28 to be in contention. 🏅 pic.twitter.com/tRJkBI16hc
Messi has been eligible for seven years but for some reason, journalists have not voted him the best player in a calendar year.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy & Ginza Tanaka
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