A Paraguayan judge on Tuesday ordered the release of Ronaldinho and his brother into house arrest while they await trial on charges of using false passports to enter the country. file / Agence France-Presse
FC Barcelona superstar footballer Lionel Messi has denied reports of him moving to Italian giants Inter Milan. The Argentine had recently been linked with a move to Inter Milan as well as his childhood club Newell’s Old Boys, while Manchester City was touted as a possible destination for the Argentine earlier in the season after a series of high-profile disagreements with members of Barcelona’s hierarchy.
The Barca star also denied rumours of a possible transfer to his former Argentinian side Newell’s Old Boys.
“What they said about Newell’s Old Boys a few weeks ago is also false, thank God no one believed them,” Messi said in an Instagram post.
He also distanced himself from a rumour that said he had paid the bail money to allow the release of Brazilian star Ronaldinho from a Paraguay jail.
Messi shared a tweet from a football news portal and singled out the Inter move and Ronaldinho bail money reports as ‘Lie No. 1’ and ‘Lie No.2’ on Instagram.
“Lie no 1” and “Lie no 2” he wrote over screenshots of news reports before adding: “What they said about Newell’s Old Boys a few weeks ago is also false, thank God no one believed them...”
After the first-team squad agreed a 70 per cent pay cut, Messi publicly questioned the board’s urgency to put pressure on the players, despite the fact that negotiations were already ongoing.
“It never ceases to amaze us that from within the club there were those who tried to put us under the magnifying glass, adding pressure for us to do what we were always going to do anyway,” he wrote.
A Paraguayan judge on Tuesday ordered the release of Brazilian football great Ronaldinho and his brother into house arrest while they await trial on charges of using false passports to enter the country.
Judge Gustavo Amarilla told reporters that he had ordered the “continuation of house arrest in a hotel for Ronaldinho and his brother.”
The pair were jailed one month ago to await trial, but their lawyers have posted bail of $1.6 million.
Ronaldinho, considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, was a star of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup win and played for European giants Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan, among others.
The ruling means the brothers can swap their grim police cell block -- which has also housed Paraguay’s former soccer federation chief and the ex-speaker of the lower house of parliament -- for a plush colonial-style hotel in downtown Asuncion.
The brochure of the refurbished 107-room Palmaroga Hotel, located in the capital’s historic center, describes it as offering “a seamless blend of early 1900s Renaissance grace and modern comfort as well as luxury.”
“I have the assurance of the hotel managers that they, at their own expense, can observe house arrest there,” Amarilla told a news conference.
Paraguay’s appeals court last month rejected a request to release the pair, meaning the two-time world player of the year spent his 40th birthday behind bars.
The pair was relocated to a hotel in the center of Asuncion after agreeing to pay $1.6 million in bail during a court hearing. Judges had rejected three previous bail requests by the brothers.
Another Brazil great, Kaka, recently called Messi a genius.
“I played with Cristiano and he’s really amazing, but I’ll go with Messi,” Kaka said when asked who he would pick out of Messi or Ronaldo during an Instagram Live Q&A for FIFA’s channel.