The Spanish Minister for Education, Culture and Sport, José Ignacio Wert, defended the presumption of Messi’s innocence in the tax fraud complaint filed by Spanish tax authorities, although he said that “the law is the same for everyone, even the No. 1”.
Wert explained that, so far, there has been an investigation and a complaint by the tax authorities, and that the player and his advisors currently believe that they have committed no wrongdoing.
When asked about the damage that Messi’s case could inflict on the image of Spanish sport, the minister differentiated between the “sporting arena” and the individual behaviour of sportsmen, in this case as taxpayers, which “involve the people, and not sport or their sporting activity”.
“We need to be patient and see what the investigation proves. Of course, the law is the same for everyone, even for the No. 1, but we must always presume innocence to begin with, in this and every other case,” stressed the minister.
Sandro Rosell was fully aware that the signing of Neymar was a high-risk operation for two reasons. First, the high cost of the transfer, which was increasing every day before the interest of other big clubs, and also by the reaction that Messi could have in the presence of a competitor on the pitch.
The club has long assumed that economic investment was going to be very strong and wanted to know what he thought about the arrival of Neymar. After some friction with other strikers, Rosell was not willing that their history began on the wrong foot.
There was no place for it. Messi’s response was very positive and encouraged the club to hire the Brazilian. Leo is aware that both he and the team need another player who can score more goals. Not all the responsibility should lie with Messi. Continue reading Barca consulted Messi on signing Neymar
Neymar returned to Brazil yesterday. He took a helicopter and arrived in time to train with the ‘Seleção’, after managing an embrace with Scolari. However, his idyllic image contrasts with the swell of his contract.
The DIS group, which owns 40% of the player’s rights, will not transfer their portion of the money and threaten to denounce Barça to FIFA. Josep Maria Bartomeu admitted during the presentation that Barca gave an advance of € 10 million for Neymar, something that FIFA has banned when a player has a contract.
The DIS group feels cheated after hearing that Barcelona paid 57 million for the striker. This was acknowledged in remarks to Rac1, its executive director Roberto Moreno, who said the company has received only 9.4 million of the 57. That is, there are 20.6 million (subtracting the 10 developed countries) of which there is no record.
Interestingly Bartomeu claimed he could not explain the percentages because they were forced to sign a confidentiality agreement.
When you are a fan of one of the greatest teams in the world, chances are you can become a little bit spoiled. Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova realizes that, and has responded as much.
“If people are not happy with that, then worse times are to come. If what they want is 115 points…” the manager said.
Barcelona won the league title and equaled Real Madrid’s record 100-point mark in their final match this weekend, but Vilanova is still having to answer to criticism over their Champions League failures, amongst other things. Continue reading Tito Vilanova says fans should be happy with 100 points
Barcelona entered their last match with Malaga with only one goal on their minds: To equal the record 100-points mark set by Real Madrid just last year.
After winning the league some weeks ago, and dividing almost €20 million in spoils among the players, Barcelona president Sandro Rosell added some extra incentive by installing a €1 million reward if the team got the 100 points. Saturday night at Camp Nou, the team played as if money was on their mind. Continue reading Barca reaches the coveted 100-point mark
In a press conference to announce his departure from Barcelona, Eric Abidal couldn’t keep down his emotion: “I had two objectives: to fight to see my daughters grow up and be with my wife, and another to play again. I would have liked to have stayed and played on but the club saw it differently and I have to respect their decision.”
“It’s a very difficult day for me. I have played for Barça for six years and it’s been the biggest experience of my life. I’ve had some wonderful teammates, the best in the world. I’ve learned a lot, thanks to the managers who put their faith in me and to the doctors and physios who helped me through the difficult times.” he said, choking back tears. Continue reading Eric Abidal tearful in his exit from Barca