Just days after winning, though controversially, his record seventh Ballon d’Or, Lionel Messi has been ordered by a Barcelona court to demolish a luxury hotel he has in Barcelona.
According to Mirror, quoting from Spanish publication, El Confidencial,.the Argentine’s 77-bedroom building, the MiM Sitges does not meet city standards.
It is located close to where Messi used to live whilst he plied his trade at the Camp Nou.
Messi also owns hotels in Ibiza and and Majorca through the Majestic Hotel Group and spent £26m on the Barcelona-based residence in 2017.
But the report from Spain states that the superstar purchased the hotel without being aware that the Sitges Town Hall had already ordered its demolition as a result of non-compliance with building codes.
The hotel’s balconies are believed to be too big, but the building could even collapse if they are downsized or torn down.
Not only that, but the fire emergency plan reportedly also failed to meet the authorities’ standards.
Messi is understood to have just been made aware of the demolition order when the Spanish newspaper approached him for comment, which he and his representatives passed on.
The hotel has been praised for its approach to sustainability, with 80% of the material used for the building’s construction either reused or recyclable.
But the man himself seems less fussed about that label, as he told France Football, via AS : “I never said I’m the best in history nor do I try to push that perception myself.
“For me, being considered by others as one of the best in history is more than enough.
“It’s something I would never have imagined. It’s something that doesn’t interest me, it doesn’t change anything whether I’m considered the best or not.
“And I never wanted to be.”
But, in classy fashion, the winner paid tribute to his close competitor, who was the favourite to win in 2020 before the award was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, during his acceptance speech.