LIONEL MESSI has warmed the hearts of fans everywhere by telling his restaurant in Argentina to give free meals to the homeless during the country’s cold snap.
Since last Friday, Bar VIP in Rosario has opened its doors to those struggling in the city and provided them with hot food and drink.
And the plan is to continue doing it for the next fortnight – with five deaths being linked to the killer chill as of last Thursday.
The country’s economic recession has also led to concerns about the number of people sleeping rough.
Now Barcelona hero Messi is using his global superstardom for good by telling his restaurant to do their bit to help those less fortunate.
Bar manager Ariel Almada spoke about the decision to open up to provide free food and drink.
He said: “We’ve also been giving out coffee, soft drinks and even some wine to some.
“Many people came and were very respectful.
“We’re going to keep thio sup for 15 days, every night between 7pm and 9pm.
Messi is heavily involved with charitable causes and earlier this year his foundation partnered with the UN to donate around £180,000 for initiatives in Kenya which included a new water pump and handing out food supplies.
That project will improve the lives of more than 2,000 people.
It is some good news for Messi after a Copa America he will be quick to forget.
Messi was sent off for a headbutt clash with Chile’s Gary Medel as Argentina won the third-place play-off game.
And now Nou Camp star Messi, 32, who has three sons, faces a two-year international ban after blasting the game’s “corrupt” referees.
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After only his second ever dismissal — his first was 14 years ago — Messi refused to collect his medal then stormed: “There is no doubt, the whole thing is set up for Brazil.
“I did not want to be part of this corruption. We shouldn’t have to be part of this disrespect we suffered during the Copa America.
“We could have gone further, but we weren’t allowed into the final. Corruption, referees and all the rest stopped people from enjoying the football.”