Lionel Messi is facing a major financial setback after being ordered to demolish a £26m hotel he owns in Barcelona, according to reports in Spain.
Messi began last week on a high after winning the Ballon d’Or for a record seventh time but his celebrations are likely to have been cut short by the news that his four-star hotel has been slapped with a court order for its demolition.
Spanish newspaper El Confidencial claims that the 77-room hotel, known as ‘MiM Sitges’, does not meet the required building standards in Barcelona
The hotel’s balconies are believed to be too big and the building could be at risk of collapsing if they are downsized or removed.
According to the report, the hotel’s fire emergency plan also failed to meet the correct standards.
Messi was not aware that the property had already been ordered for demolition when he bought it in 2017 and only became informed when El Confidencial approached him for comment, according to the Spanish newspaper.
Messi also reportedly owns hotels in Ibiza and Majorca and has spent the majority of his life in Barcelona after first joining the club as a 13-year-old
He moved to Paris earlier this year following his transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
The 34-year-old has struggled to produce his best form since arriving at the Parc des Princes but was able to add yet more silverware to his collection this week, after winning the Ballon d’Or ahead of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.
Messi is now two clear ahead of his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo but the Argentina international says he is not sure if he is the greatest player of all time.
“I never said, thought, or even tried to come to terms with this idea [of being the greatest],” he told France Football.
“For me, just being able to be considered or cited as one of the best players in the world is more than enough. It is something that I would never have dared to imagine or dream of.
“But… I don’t know how to put it so that it’s not misinterpreted. It’s not that I’m not interested in it, but, let’s say that I don’t not give much importance to all that.
“It doesn’t change anything for me to be the best or not. And I never tried to be either.”
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