Messi Mark 2: Genetics expert claims Barcelona star could be CLONED
Head of the European Genome Archive, Arcadi Navarro, has reportedly suggested that current technology would allow a replica of the diminutive magician to be created.
"Yes, we could clone Messi with the current techniques and we would get something very similar to him,” Navarro said on the Què t'hi jugues program, as cited by AS.com.
“It would be as if two twins had been born and one had been frozen 20 or 30 years ago," he added.
There is the caveat, however, that any potential Messi Mark 2 would have to go through the same kind of developmental process to reach the spectacular heights of the current Barcelona star, who many hail as the greatest of all time.
"[The clone] would have the same potential, but his [Messi's] qualities have a genetic component as well as others that are based on his education and environment,” Navarro said.
“Messi is not who he is only because of genetics, but also for everything he has lived through, his education, his life in La Masia [Barcelona youth academy], the treatment he received. Genetics give us potential, it is then our job to complete it."
Messi moved to Spain aged 13 to join Barcelona’s fabled youth set-up, coming through the ranks to become the club’s all-time top scorer with well over 500 goals and counting.
Most recently he struck a barely-believable hat-trick in Sunday’s win over Real Betis, even earning adulation from opposition fans.Also on rt.com 'Messi! Messi!': Rival fans chant Barca great's name after latest physics-defying display (VIDEOS)
He will return to the Argentina team on Friday for a friendly against Venezuela, the first time he will appear in national team colors since the World Cup in Russia.
Dolly the Sheep became the first cloned mammal when she was born in Scotland in 1996. Since then, animals including pigs, cats and horses have been cloned.
Human cloning is banned in dozens of countries across the world, and a UN declaration in 2005 called on countries to prohibit it as “incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life.”
It seems football defenders will be safe for some time before having to face the likes of Messi again - although cloning the GOAT might be closer than we think...