According to the (The Independent), In an appalling lack of taste, Argentinian newspaper Diario Perfil has likened Lionel Messi to war criminal Alfredo Astiz. The Messi family is in a state of outrage, and is currently considering taking the news publisher to court over an image which shows the metamorphosis of Alfredo Astiz to Leo Messi.
For those unfamiliar with Astiz, he was an Argentinian naval officer who was found guilty of torture, murder and forced disappearance in 2011 for crimes he committed during the martial rule of Argentina from 1976-1983. His crimes were so horrendous that his nick name during that time became “the Blond Angel of Death”.
The blond hair is in part why his image has been likened to that of Messi’s. But the real connection here has to do with recent court rulings over Astiz’s sentence and Messi’s FIFA ban appeal. Messi’s ban was repealed by the court, which was originally supposed to be a four match ban in the World Cup qualifiers and a fine of several thousand dollars for verbally abusing a referee. On the other side, the Argentine Supreme Court recently decided that those serving long sentences for crimes against humanity could be reduced, which would allow Astiz to potentially go free before his death.
Diario Perfil has made a crude connection between the two, using Messi’s ban reversal and Astiz’s potential shortage of sentence as a twisted sort of simile. The picture they used as well is tactless and base, hurting Messi’s image in his own country, which is already stressed of late due to his performances for the international team, as well as his brief departure from international football. The point is, comparing a football player to a war criminal is disgusting, and the Messi family have every right to pursue a lawsuit.