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June 12, 2013 | By Melissa Rohlin
Soccer star Lionel Messi and his father have been accused of tax fraud by Spanish authorities. Criminal charges alleging nearly $5.3 million in unpaid taxes from 2007 through 2009 were filed against them Wednesday by prosecutor Raquel Amado in Barcelona. Messi, who plays for Barcelona and is from Argentina, is one of the highest paid athletes in the world. The World Player of the Year reportedly makes just over $20 million a season, according to Forbes magazine, and receives about $21 million in endorsements from his sponsors, which include Adidas , PepsiCo and P&G. ALSO: Ravens release Vonta Leach after failing to agree on new deal The top 25 @ 140: Which college teams lead in Twitter followers Manti Te'o breaks monthlong silence, discusses championship loss
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May 2, 2013 | From staff and wire reports
The Champions League final will feature two German teams for the first time after visiting Bayern Munich completed a surprising 7-0 rout of Barcelona. Playing with a big cushion after a 4-0 win in the first leg at home last week, Bayern beat Barcelona, 3-0, in the second leg Wednesday night on goals by Arjen Robben in the 48th minute and Thomas Mueller in the 76th around Gerard Pique's own goal in the 72nd. Bayern, which relaxed when it saw injured Lionel Messi wasn't in Barcelona's starting lineup, is in the final for the third time in four years and will play Borussia Dortmund at London's Wembley Stadium on May 25. "I think it is a terrific performance, it is a little bit of history," Robben said.
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April 28, 2013 | Staff and Wire reports
Rafael Nadal won the Barcelona Open for the eighth time Sunday, defeating Nicolas Almagro, 6-4, 6-3, in Spain for his fourth title of the year. This latest victory, with next month's French Open approaching, is a promising sign that Nadal is getting back to full strength from a knee injury that sidelined him since last summer "I am very happy," he said. "It has been an important week for me to win here again and a great source of joy after everything I have been through. " Nadal has made six straight finals since returning from his knee injury.
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April 20, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
Maybe it was a passing of the torch. Or maybe it was just two ships passing in the night. Either way, you can be sure Cristiano Ronaldo is well aware of the turn his career has taken since he and Lionel Messi tangled in the 2009 UEFA Champions League final. Ronaldo, then the reigning world player of the year, came into the match having led Manchester United to three consecutive Premier League crowns and the previous year's Champions League title. Messi, meanwhile, was finishing his third season as a first-choice forward for Barcelona.
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February 7, 2013 | By Dan Loumena
Lionel Messi said on Thursday when he signed a two-year contract extension that he envisions playing only for FC Barcelona while in Europe. Messi, 25, also believes he'll end his playing days in Argentina. "I have said before that as far as Europe goes I would like to end my career at Barcelona,” the club's all-time leading scorer said. “I don't think about playing for any other team on the continent. That said, I don't rule out ending my playing career in Argentina.” The four-time reigning FIFA world player of the year who joined Barcelona as a 13-year-old and made his first appearance with the powerhouse at 17, is now under contract through 2018, when he will be 31 and at the end of his prime.
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January 25, 2013 | By Dan Loumena
You have to check out this incredible bicycle kick goal by 9-year-old Iker Merino of FC Barcelona's youth academy. That's right. They start teaching them highlight-reel moves at a young age in Europe. Or maybe the youngsters across the Atlantic Ocean just emulate their favorite players at a young age. Merino not only scores with a bicycle kick, but he first controls the ball by fighting for position in the penalty box before juggling the ball on his foot to set up for the shot.
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December 18, 2012 | By Chuck Schilken
Lionel Messi will score at least 540 more goals and be named world soccer player of the year seven more times before his time with Barcelona comes to an end. Well, that's what will happen if he sticks to this year's record pace of 90 goals (and counting) and continues his streak of three -- undoubtedly soon to be an unprecedented four -- straight player-of-the year awards while playing out his newly extended contract with the Spanish powerhouse. Messi, 25, agreed to a new contract with Barcelona on Tuesday that will lasts until June 30, 2018, the club said in a statement.
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December 11, 2012 | By Kevin Baxter
Put Iker Casillas, goalkeeper of the world and European champion Spanish national team, on the growing list of international soccer stars who some day hope to play in Major League Soccer. And while MLS would clearly welcome someone of Casillas' talent, it might not appreciate his reasons for coming. "I would like to play out my soccer in the future in a more relaxed environment, and if I have to play somewhere else then it would be for a team that would not come into direct competition with Real Madrid,” Casillas, who plays for Real in Spain's La Liga, told Spanish television's La Sexta.
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December 9, 2012
Lionel Messi broke German great Gerd Mueller's 40-year-old record for most goals in a year Sunday by scoring for the 86th time in 2012. The Argentine forward scored twice to lead visting Barcelona to a 2-1 win over Real Betis in the Spanish league match in Barcelona, Spain. Messi's first goal was an individual effort in the 16th minute to equal Mueller's mark, and he eclipsed the 1972 milestone with a familiar left-footed finish nine minutes later. Messi has scored 74 goals for Barcelona and 12 times for Argentina this year, and he has three more games in which he can add to his tally before the end of the year.
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