This Pigeon Sold For Record $1.4 MILLION And Is Supposed To Be The Lionel Messi Of Pigeon Racing

Portrait of a racing or homing pigeon looking into the camera.

iStockphoto / Frank Cornelissen

I’m at a loss here. With most sports, I’ve at least encountered them at some point in life. I’ve been to Polo matches, darts competitions, dog racing in Florida, cockfighting in Puerto Rico. I’ve attended events for soccer, basketball, hockey, football, baseball, NASCAR, boxing, MMA, and every other mainstream sport. But pigeon racing? I honestly know jack diddly squat about pigeon racing.

I saw a headline where this pigeon was described as the ‘Lionel Messi of pigeon racing’ which caught my attention after Leo scored his 51st career hat trick last weekend and his well on his way to becoming the G.O.A.T. before he retires. For a pigeon to warrant that comparison it has to be one fckn remarkable pigeon, doesn’t it?

This racing pigeon just sold for a record 1.25 million euros at auction, or $1.4 million USD. FOR A GODDAMN PIGEON. Side note: have you ever seen a baby pigeon in your life? I lived in NYC for 9 years and never once saw a baby pigeon and it drove me nuts. Where are they hiding all the babies?!

The pigeon’s name is Armando and it was purchased by a Chinese buyer at auction on Sunday. It’s said to be the greatest distance racer of any pigeon in history, whatever the shit that means.

Apparently, the format of long distance pigeon racing is releasing a pigeon incredibly far distances away from home, sometimes several hundred miles, and the first pigeon to fly home wins. Armando has a gift for flying incredibly long distances and he always knows how to get home. That, somehow, was worth $1.4 million.

Armando had been expected to break the previous record of 376,000 euros ($425,000) paid for a pigeon called Nadine — but not by such a wide margin.

“Earlier this week it became clear that Armando would be the most expensive pigeon ever sold in an online auction,” wrote the specialist website Pigeon Paradise (

“However, no one expected that the magical cap of a million euros would be pulverised,” it added. The final amount was 1,252,000 euros.

Pigeon Paradise did not say who had bought the pigeon, but according to the Belgian news agency Belga it was a Chinese buyer who will no doubt use his new acquisition to breed other champions.

Armando was just one of more than a hundred birds sold by respected Belgian breeder Joel Verschoot. (via)

Behold Armando, the world’s greatest ever racing pigeon:

Honestly, I can’t envision a world where money laundering wasn’t at play here. How in the hell can A FLYING SKY RAT BE WORTH $1.4 MILLION?!?

Armando will now forever be a legend in the world of pigeon racing, which has historical roots in Belgium, Britain, France, and the Netherlands but according to this article has been on th edecline for years but is also currently seeing a resurgence in Asian countries.

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