Face-off! Messi gets mural next to Ronaldo's in Kazan

Argentina was set for a view of Cristiano Ronaldo's face from its hotel in Kazan, but a Lionel Messi mural has been crafted just in time.

Boys play ball under a mural of Argentina's soccer star Lionel Messi during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Bronnitsy, Russia.   -  AP

After it became apparent Argentina was to stay in the hotel next to a Cristiano Ronaldo mural in Kazan ahead of the World Cup clash with France, Lionel Messi has been given his own a stone's throw from his rival.

Local artists created a piece of artwork dedicated to Ronaldo before the 2017 Confederations Cup, with the idea that he would be able to see it out of his window from the Ramada Hotel – where Portugal was based last year – next door.

Having defeated Nigeria late on in its final group game, Argentina secured a trip to Kazan to face France in the first knockout round on Saturday.

But, with France clinching its spot earlier and swiftly booking the nearby Mirage hotel, Argentina was left with the only other facility in the city which is licensed for World Cup teams; the Ramada and a view of Ronaldo's face stretched across three stories.

However, ahead of Messi's arrival, painters got to work on Friday morning and swiftly ensured the 31-year-old's face was plastered on a different wall in the same garage forecourt.

Whether it will be completely finished in time for the Barcelona superstar's arrival is another matter...

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