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Spanish court dismissed fraud case against Lionel Messi

A Spanish court on Friday dismissed a new complaint filed in 2020 against Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, which accused the Argentine footballer of fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering.

Federico Rettori, an Argentine national living in Spain who claims to have previously worked for Messi’s charity, filed a similar complaint in 2019, which was also dismissed. In it, he argued that the funds received by the foundation which “should be directed for social causes” rather than “was directed towards various private activities or bank accounts which are different from those declared by the foundation”.

In the complaint that Rettori filed in 2020, he again named the Barcelona striker, Charity, his father Jorge, and brother Rodrigo, and added several documents to support his claims. But the Spanish National Court ruled in its ruling that, after two years of investigation, “no criminal act could be proved by the persons concerned in the complaint”.

The court also said that Rettori was never employed at the Messi’s Foundation. Instead, he led a consortium called “El Buen Camino” or “The Right Way”, which received 150,000 euros ($177,000) in 2014 and 2015 to tackle infant mortality in Sierra Leone, the court said. The project was interrupted due to the Ebola epidemic in the West African country.

Lionel Messi finally won an international title with Argentina after winning Copa America last Sunday in the final match of the tournament against Brazil. Striker Messi’s contract at his boyhood club Barcelona expired last month and he is a free agent now. He is said to join the Catalan club at a 50% pay cut but no official contract has been announced yet. Meanwhile, Manchester City is also linked to sign him.

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