Messi's name painted on Ronaldo's statue in Portugal

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Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo as he celebrates after scoring a goal during a La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo as he celebrates after scoring a goal during a La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid. (Photo: AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza, File)

MADRID (AP) — Vandals in Portugal have painted Lionel Messi's name on a Cristiano Ronaldo statue in Portugal.

Messi's jersey number also was tagged with red paint on Ronaldo's full-figured statue in Funchal, the Portuguese striker's hometown.

Portuguese and Spanish media say the statue was vandalized early Tuesday, a day after Messi won the Ballon d'Or in Zurich to end Ronaldo's two-year hold on soccer's top individual honor.

Local media said the statue was cleaned by the end of the day Tuesday, but officials were still searching for the vandals.

Ronaldo's statue was inaugurated in 2014 with the presence of the Real Madrid player and his close relatives.

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