BUENOS AIRES - A museum celebrating the exploits of legendary Argentine footballer Lionel Messi is to be built in the Barcelona star's home city of Rosario.

City mayor Monica Fein told AFP that Messi memorabilia is to be donated by the player's family. "It will be a sports museum where Lionel Messi will be the central character," Fein said, adding that other Rosario-born luminaries, like Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria, will also be honoured.

"I think the Messi museum will be up and running in two years time," predicted Hermes Binner, the former governor of Sante Fe province. He reported that the local authorities had purchased a 32 hectare parcel of land near Rosario in which the museum and other attractions are due to be sited. Before joining Barcelona Messi played as a boy for the youth team of one of Rosario's two clubs, Newell's Old Boys.