Lionel Messi's name and his shirt number (10) were painted in red on the statue of the Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo in Funchal, the capital of the Real Madrid star's native Madeira.
The act of vandalism took place in the early hours of Tuesday morning, hours after the Barcelona player was awarded the 2015 Ballon d'Or. The local newspaper of Madeira stated that the statue was quickly cleaned.
"It's a shameful act committed by a jealous individual", said Katia Aveiro, the Portugal captain's sister, on social media.
The Portuguese star unveiled the bronze statue in December 2014. It rises 3.4 metres high and is situated on the seafront in Funchal, just metres from his museum, which he financed.