Lionel Messi has celebrated winning his fifth Balon d’Or by instantly writing off all his travel expenses, as well as inquiring about whether the extra weight he now has to pay the airline for his baggage is also tax deductible.
The Barcelona forward beat off competition from arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo – who was hoping to win the award for the third straight year – and fellow tax-dodger Neymar to cap an incredible year on the pitch and in the Spanish law courts.
Speaking at the press conference following the ceremony, the Argentinian said: ‘It’s been an incredible twelve months. Winning La Liga and the Champions League, continuing to score goals for fun, and cheating the government out of millions of Euros. Truly incredible. But this tops the lot’.
When asked how he plans to celebrate his unique achievement, Messi replied: ‘I’m going to go back to the hotel with my girlfriend, crack open a bottle of champagne, and get my accountant on the phone to see how much of this trip we can write off.
‘I’m so happy right now, I could almost pay all that back tax I owe’, the 28-year-old continued, before adding, ‘I joke, I joke. I’m so ridiculously rich’.
Messi will be hoping for more success when he returns to Barça, who take a break from their league challenge when they take on city rivals Espanyol in a Copa del Rey version of the Derbi Barceloní on January 13.