Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi wins nine-year fight to trademark his surname

The European Court of Justice dismissed an appeal from Spanish cycling company Massi and the EU's intellectual property office, EUIPO.

The Barcelona footballer first applied to trademark his surname as a sportswear brand in 2011.

But Massi argued the similarity between their logos would cause confusion.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) said that the star player's reputation could be taken into account when weighing up whether the public would be able to tell the difference between the two brands.

Messi contract still valid

The ruling body said the only way for the Argentine forward to be released from the contract was to trigger a 700-million euros (NZ$1.2 billion) release clause.

The 33-year-old six-times world player of the year informed his lifelong club last week he wished to leave immediately, plunging Barca into new turmoil less than two weeks after their humiliating 8-2 Champions League quarter-final defeat by Bayern Munich.

Messi demands release from Barcelona

The 33 year old Argentina international, has sent a fax to the club saying he wishes to exercise a clause in his contract, allowing him to leave for free with immediate effect.

Barca were beaten 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals on 16 August.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner made his debut for Barca in 2004 and has won the Champions League four times.

Barcelona, though, believe the clause has now expired and Messi is contracted to the club until 2021 with a $1.2 million buy-out clause.

Closed doors no obstacle to selfie-seeking Messi fan

Clad in an Argentina shirt with Messi's number 10 on the back and holding his phone, the fan calmly walked onto the pitch in the 52nd minute and approached Barca defender Jordi Alba before heading towards Messi.

The intruder was tackled by security guards before he could make any contact with the six-times world player of the year, while two police officers helped remove him from the pitch.

Tagliafico Messi leader, protector

Messi, 32, has faced criticism for his performances for the national team as his wait for a first senior trophy at international level goes on.

But Ajax defender Tagliafico, a 25-time Argentina international, said the Barcelona star was key for his nation.

"Messi was released from the pressure to get results [at the 2019 Copa America, where Argentina finished third]," he told Ole.

"He more than anyone gets angry when he loses, but Messi became more aware that he has to enjoy the national team.

Hamilton and Messi share award

Mercedes driver Hamilton won his sixth world championship in 2019, with 11 race wins and 17 podium finishes, while Messi was crowned the world's best player for a record sixth time when he won the Ballon d'Or.

American gymnast Simone Biles, who became the most decorated gymnast in world championship history when she won her 25th medal last year, won her third Sportswoman of the Year gong after winning the award in 2017 and 2019.

Messi will make Argentina return next month

Messi was handed a three-month ban from international football in August for accusing South America's governing body CONMEBOL of "corruption" during the Copa America.

After being controversially sent off in Argentina's third-place play-off win over Chile in July, Messi did not appear to collect his medal and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner later explained that he did not want to "be part of this corruption, this lack of respect towards the whole Copa".

Messi, Ibrahimovic lead Puskas Award nominations for best goal

A panel of FIFA and external football experts selected 10 goals to put to a public vote, with the efforts ranging from the sublime to the outrageous.

Barcelona icon Messi is nominated for the fourth time in five years, while three female players are included after there were none up for the award last year.

All goals selected for consideration were scored between July 16, 2018 and July 19, 2019, and we have the low down on each one, with voting open until September 2…

Reds five nominated for UCL awards

Liverpool defeated Tottenham in the Champions League final and have seen goalkeeper Alisson, defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk, midfielder Jordan Henderson and forward Sadio Mane named among the contenders in their respective categories.

Tottenham also have representation through keeper Hugo Lloris and midfielder Christian Eriksen.

Barcelona superstar Messi, who was the top scorer in last season's competition with 12 goals, will vie with Mane and old adversary Ronaldo for the forward award.

No Messi or Ronaldo in UCL final

Messi's Barcelona capitulated at the hands of Liverpool on Tuesday, losing the semi-final second leg 4-0 to go down 4-3 on aggregate.

That shock result ended an astonishing run of dominance for the star duo when it comes to Europe's top club competition. Since 2013, one of Messi or Ronaldo were involved in five successive finals – with the latter winning three straight titles and four in total.

But Ronaldo, who left holders Real Madrid at the start of the season, saw his Juventus team crash out at the quarter-final stage to Ajax in the 2018-19 tournament.