Lionel Messi wins libel case, donates money to charity
Lionel Messi won a libel case Tuesday that dated back to 2014, and he donated all of his winnings to charity, ESPN reports.
Messi was awarded nearly €65,000 (around $73,850 USD). Spanish journalist Alfonso Ussia wrote a story after Argentina’s 2014 World Cup final loss to Germany that criticized Messi’s play and referred to the hormone treatments he received as a boy that helped him develop physically. That treatment was according to regulations and Messi, now 28, has never failed a drug test.
A Barcelona court deemed Ussia’s story, published by La Razon “went outside the bounds of an opinion piece” and were “objectively insulting and offensive.”
Messi donated the money to the Doctors without Borders Charity.
Messi is also in midst of a lawsuit against another Spanish newspaper, El Confidential, for linking him to tax evasion claims in the leaked Panama Papers. Prosecutors claim Messi and his father avoided paying taxes on his image rights from 2007 to 2009. The trial ended last week.