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Pigeon racing might seem like a dying art, but an elite group of Chinese pigeon fanciers are keeping the hobby alive and pushing the price of birds to record highs.
And now one Belgian bird described as the “Lionel Messi” of pigeons has been sold for more than £1m at an online auction. Yep, that’s right.
Armando fetched a fee more than three time times the previous world record after an online bidding war between two Chinese fanciers.
Nikolaas Gyselbrecht, the founder of auction house Pipa that sold Armando, said:
This pigeon has a race record that has never been matched by any other pigeon.In football terms you have Messi and Ronaldo – it’s that level.
This pigeon has a race record that has never been matched by any other pigeon.
In football terms you have Messi and Ronaldo – it’s that level.
"Lewis Hamilton of racing pigeons" https://t.co/vWQIZxARqn — Tom Rabe (@Tom Rabe)
Meet Armando, the million pound pigeon. After 0800, @BBCBreakfast will be joined by @official_rpra and one of their… https://t.co/yZbZs51ihd — Caroline Rigby (@Caroline Rigby)
Meet Armando. He's a pigeon, and he's probably worth more than you. #TheProjectTV https://t.co/4YrUymDj3b — The Project (@The Project)
Over a million quid for a bloody pigeon called armando!!! https://t.co/rwlTuNbr9r — keep calm n have a brew (@keep calm n have a brew)
@mrdanwalker There was something in the air last night
He'd taken flight
Armando — Ben Stack (@Ben Stack)
@mrdanwalker For a million pounds he could be fancier.. — AJ 💉💉💉 #JohnsonOut (@AJ 💉💉💉 #JohnsonOut)
@mrdanwalker He must be coo coo https://t.co/3RBxl6kk2Z — cynical bod 🏴☠️ (@cynical bod 🏴☠️)
Armando actually retired from racing at five years old but continues to hold value because of his breeding potential.
His sale also beat the record offline auction price of 500,000 euros (£428,000), paid for a pigeon named Mr Fantastic.
Gyselbrecht said that there's a group of people "who do not like that so much money is involved". He added:
It’s like in football, some people can’t believe the money being paid.
Lots of people asking if I know Armando and the answer is no. I've heard he lashes back Stella from a secret pipe o… https://t.co/tF5X6oclac — Woolwich Pigeon (@Woolwich Pigeon)
Looks like Armando might have ruffled a few feathers in the pigeon-racing world.
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