To the rest of the world, Lionel Messi is the biggest superstar in professional sports.
And when the Paris Saint-Germain star tested positive Sunday for COVID-19, nobody was safe from blame. Not even DJ Fer Palacio, who was seen photographed with Messi on Dec. 27. Palacio said in Spanish on his Instagram story that he received death threats over Messi testing positive, per USA Today.
"I am (trending) on Twitter because Messi tested positive for COVID-19. They (say) that I infected him," he said. "They have even called me ‘murderer.’ I have a lot of very bad (direct) messages. Yesterday, I was tested because I have to travel to Uruguay and I do not have COVID-19."
Messi, 34, reportedly had been spending the holiday season in his native Rosario, Argentina, where a celebration took place. Palacio performed at one of the events where Messi allegedly contracted COVID-19. ESPN reported that Palacio attended several parties leading up to Messi’s event where people tested positive for the virus.
Palacio posted his negative test result on Twitter to combat the criticism.
Messi, meanwhile, will return to PSG once he tests negative, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine international posted a message on Instagram, calling COVID-19 a "s***ty virus."
"I can only give thanks for everything that I had to live in this 2021. Even more so when many people had a really bad time because of the s—ty virus that never ends," he wrote. "Hopefully 2022 brings a lot of health, which is what I wish you all for the new year. Hug to everyone!!!"
Messi has started off slow during his first campaign in Ligue 1, with just one goal and four assists in 11 matches.