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Thursday Kickoff: Messi makes tax payment; Madrid completes Isco deal; and more

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Lionel Messi will be on the hook for a lot of cash after all.

The Messi family and Spanish authorities came to an out-of-court settlement over unpaid taxes, with the reported figures sitting upwards of €15 million ($19.5 million) being paid by Messi to the State.

Originally it was thought that the Barcelona star only needed to pay €4.1 million ($5.4 million) in unpaid taxes, but last week the Argentine forward’s family paid a reported additional €10 million ($13 million) to cover income over Messi’s image rights in 2011 and 2012.

Had Messi been convicted for tax fraud in Spanish court, he could have faced up to five years in prison, thought it was never likely that the case would make it to court. Messi just finished up another long season for club and country, and is set to return to Barcelona for pre-season training in mid-July.

Here are some more stories to get your Thursday started:


Real Madrid have made their second signing of the summer, and they show no signs of slowing down.

The Spanish club, who just introduced new manager Carlo Ancelotti, signed Isco on Thursday from La Liga club Malaga, bringing the 21-year-old and European Under-21 champion into the first team side.

Reports out of Spain have the transfer fee in the region of €30 million ($39 million), while Isco has signed a five-year contract. The deal is subject to a medical on Thursday in Madrid.

Last season, Isco scored nine goals in 37 La Liga appearances, 36 of them starts as he became the next brightest star in Spain. Isco was also a key factor of Malaga’s run in the Champions League. Former manager Manuel Pellegrini tried to bring Isco to Manchester City, but was out-bid by Madrid.


FC Porto could make El Tri youngster Hector Herrera the answer to a trivia question some day.

According to reports in Portugal, Porto is set to sign Herrera, with the 23-year-old midfielder currently arriving in Oporto on Thursday after agreeing an €8 million deal Liga MX side Pachuca that could rise to €10 million depending on how many matches Herrera plays.

If the fee does rise to €10m, it would be the most expensive transfer in Liga MX history, topping the €8.9 million spent by Porto to sign Jackson Martinez from Chiapas in 2012. Javier Hernandez of Manchester United was the most expensive Mexican international to be transferred from Liga MX, for a price of €7.5, so Herrera is set to break that record.

Herrera just finished a month with the Mexico National Team, playing in World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup. The eight-time capped player leaves a Pachuca side where he made 27 appearances in all competitions for the club last season, scoring two goals.


Former Arsenal record signing Andrei Arshavin has returned to Russian club Zenit. (REPORT)

Werder Bremen have completed the signing of Inter Milan and Italy Under-21 captain Luca Caldirola. (REPORT)

The Italian Supercup between Lazio and Juventus, thought to be taking place in China or the United States, has been scheduled for August 18 in Rome. (REPORT)

Swansea City have had a £10.2 million ($15.6 million) transfer fee agreed with Dutch side Vitesse for Ivory Coast forward Wilfried Bony. (REPORT)

AS Monaco is nearing a transfer for France Under-20 talent Lucas Digne, beating out PSG for the youngster’s services. (REPORT)


What do you make of these reports? Did you expect Messi to have to pay this much? Do you see Isco finding a place in the Real starting XI? What do you think of Herrera’s prospects in Portugal?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Messi will never be the next Maradona if he thinks he needs to pay taxes. What’s he going to do next score a goal in the World Cup with his hand and give himself a red card.

    “The man who led Argentina to a World Cup title in 1986 owes the Italian treasury roughly 40 million euros in back taxes from his tenure with Napoli in the late 1980s, a debt that grows larger by 3,000 euros a day thanks to interest charges.”

  2. Damnit Swansea I totally wanted him for liverpool and so cheap and young too. feel he’ll take off and be the steal. Should double or more his price this time next year.

  3. Specs resigned with BCFC this morning for 2 years. Very interesting comments from Manager that suggested they might try him out at center back. I could really see him there. Will watch with anticipation and hope that Specs can stay injury free for awhile.

    • I’ve always liked the idea of Spector at CB. Never thought he had the positional awareness for RB. I’m also interested to see this.

  4. Interesting that Swansea paid $15 mil for Bony who has a similar scoring record to Altidore in Holland since 2011. Bony: 65 apps – 46 goals. Altidore: 67 apps – 38 goals. I’m not saying Altidore deserves a similar transfer fee, but I could see him being purchased for around $10 mil to end up bossing at center forward for a mid-table EPL team.

    • It’s more than just their time at the club and overall career–it’s a combination of both and Bony’s last season was insane.

      Jozy had 31 goals in 41 games and 4 goals in 8 games for the United States.

      Bony had 37 goals in 36 games and 4 goals in 5 games for the Ivory Coast.

      As for their entire professional career–Bony has a history of scoring while this is Jozy’s first big season.

      Jozy has 74 goals in 191 appearances in his club career.

      Bony has 84 goals in 160 appearances in his club career.

      I think 10 million US or 7.5 million Euros could be the upper-area of his transfer value.

      • i think your conclusion, as of right now, is correct; however, couple things to keep in mind:

        – bony was the penalty-taker for vitesse. (yes, they count the same as any other goal, but it does tend to inflate scoring stats.)

        – bony was on a much better team. AZ was rebuilding this year, and jozy ended up scoring almost half of their goals (only 1 or 2 penalties), and carried them to a cup title and europa league berth.

        i, for one, hope jozy doesn’t move (or maybe just moves to a better eredivisie team). i think he’s only going to get better, and can see him eventually breaking a $10m+ transfer fee.

      • should’ve said penalties ‘over-inflate’ scoring stats. obviously any kind of goal will inflate your stats.

      • Still startling how similar their numbers are. Shows how Jozy is becoming a big time star in European soccer.

  5. Because of my slow loading browser, I saw this picture of Messi, along with the headline “Fire route Orlando City to reach U.S. Open Cup semifinal”.

    One could only dream…..


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