Users Go Bananas as Indian Leaf-Cigarette Brand Puts Messi on Cover of Beedi Package to Lure Smokers

© REUTERS / HENRY ROMEROSoccer Football - Copa America 2021 - Semi Final - Argentina v Colombia - Estadio Mane Garrincha, Brasilia, Brazil - July 6, 2021 Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a penalty during the shootout
Soccer Football - Copa America 2021 - Semi Final - Argentina v Colombia - Estadio Mane Garrincha, Brasilia, Brazil - July 6, 2021 Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a penalty during the shootout - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.07.2021
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Over the weekend, Lionel Messi won the first major international trophy of his impressive footballing career after a goal by Angel Di Maria brought Argentina a 1-0 victory over Brazil in the final of the 2021 Copa America. The victory left the fans of the football mega star from around the world overwhelmed with emotions.
Capitalising on Lionel Messi's massive fan following, "beedi" manufacturing companies are seemingly trying to get the attention of Indian football enthusiasts.
A West Bengal-based firm "Arif Biri Factory" has branded its local cigarette product "Messi Beedi", and used a picture of the 34-year-old Argentine star on the cover of the package.
A "beedi" also spelled "biri" or "bidi" is a cheap, thin cigarette made by rolling a pinch of tobacco in dried leaves of the tendu tree.
The photo of the "Messi Beedi" has gone viral on social media, with people jokingly saying this is the footballer's first "endorsement" in India. 
​Netizens also pointed out that the same manufacturer has previously used the name and images of Portuguese football icon and Messi's arch-rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, on "beedi" packages.
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