Did you know that Gabon once paid Lionel Messi £2.4 Million for just visiting the Country?
Lionel Andres Cuccittini Messi is a player that will forever be idolized in the hearts of all football lovers. The record 6 time Ballon D’or winner has been regarded as the best ever to ever play the game. With over 700 appearances for Barcelona and 138 appearances for Argentina, the current captain of both sides has indeed been a phenomenon to watch for the past 15 years. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
As he turns 33 years today, he has been a fan’s favorite not only in Europe but also in Africa. However, admiration for someone may go to certain extents that it becomes questionable or quite stupid, which was what Gabon exemplified to us some years back. In 2015, news filtered in that Lionel Messi paid a surprise visit to Gabon, Africa. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
The Barcelona superstar as at then, was due to start pre-season trainings but decided to visit Gabon during a weekend. The President of Gabon, Ali Bonga Ondima confessed that he was a fan of the Argentine and personally invited him to the country. When Messi landed at the airport, it was the president that personally drove him around for a mini parade to the cheers of the people. Messi was given the honors, of laying the first block of a proposed stadium that was to be built in preparation of the 2017 AFCON tournament, which Gabon was the host nation. View pictures in App save up to 80% data. View pictures in App save up to 80% data. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
It was further uncovered that President Ali paid a whopping sum of £2.4 Million to have Messi visit the country. There was even further outrage by onlookers when the Argentine dressed up in ripped shorts and a plain shirt, to the excitement of Ali and the people of Gabon. Later on President Ali would go on to debunk all allegations of him paying the money but there were credible sources who confirmed the report, including France football. View pictures in App save up to 80% data. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
Gabon, currently ranked as the 16th largest economy in Africa has a GDP of $16.85 Billion. Though the Oil abundant nation is one of the richest countries in Africa, the citizens are surprisingly ranked one of the poorest on the continent. There is a wide divide between the rich and the poor in the country, as almost 13.5% of the population are in the deep poverty. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
View pictures in App save up to 80% data. President Ali Ondima has been the president of Gabon since October 2009. He took over from his Father, who was in power for about 42 years. Ali has been described by many, as a dictator and he is currently the 3rd richest president in Africa with a net worth of $1 Billion.
When will this perennial mentality of Africans change? Was it okay for Messi to have been paid such amount? Was Messi disrespectful to have turned out in such a casual outfit? Do you believe Africans belittle themselves in front of the whites when they show behaviors like this? Let me hear your opinions about all these. Don’t forget to hit the follow button.