Messi lays first stone of 2017 Nations Cup venue in Gabon

Four-time world player of the year
Lionel Messi linked up with Gabonese
president Ali Bongo Ondimba on
Saturday to lay the first stone at a
future Africa Cup of Nations venue. The Barcelona star, who won a treble of
Spanish title, Copa del Rey and European
Champions League last season, officially
started the building process at the Port-Gentil
stadium, which will host Africa Cup of Nations
matches in 2017. The ceremony took place on a wide sandy
ground where the stadium will be built. It was the Argentine forward’s first visit to
Gabon and he signed autographs on team
jerseys worn by his fans, before proceeding
with the laying of the first stone, accompanied
by the president. “When I was in Barcelona a few years ago, I
met Messi who had told me that he would
come to visit me in Libreville,” said the Gabon
president. “It’s a promise he made me. He is a man of
honour who just kept his word.” The new stadium will have a capacity of
20,000 and is expected to host matches from
November 2016 messi-gabon-1437228511357

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