Soccer

Japan jeweler unveils Messi's golden foot

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TOKYO (AP)

If anyone doubts Lionel Messi has a golden foot, now there's proof.

A pure gold replica of his left foot was unveiled in Tokyo on Wednesday.

The foot, which is valued at $5.25 million, was created by Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka to commemorate the football player's achievements.

''It's exceptional. You can see each line in the foot. It's an impressive piece of work,'' Messi's brother, Rodrigo, said at the unveiling.

The jeweler said he cast Messi's foot in Spain at the end of 2012.

''We loved the sound of making the `golden left foot,' and it being gold, it was our goal to make the project of recreating Messi's left foot a reality,'' said Masakazu Tanaka, president of the company that made the golden artifact.

The foot will go on sale on Thursday, with an endorsement from the Leo Messi Foundation, which helps children at risk around the world.

Other golden artifacts going on sale are Messi's golden footprint worth $94,500 and the ''Golden Foot Mini,'' which is half the size of the actual golden foot, worth $42,000.

Part of the proceeds will go to Messi's foundation, which in turn will go to support children in areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami disaster that hit Japan in March 2011.

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