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DJ denies infecting Messi with COVID-19 after being called murderer on social media


Argentine DJ Fer Palacio has denied accusations he infected Paris Saint-Germain superstar Lionel Messi with COVID-19 after being labelled a “murderer” on social media.

PSG confirmed that Messi is one of five first-team players to have tested positive for coronavirus during the year-end holiday break, with the 34-year-old remaining in Argentina until he is cleared to travel.

Since Messi tested positive while in Argentina, he is following self-isolation protocols in his native Rosario. Messi attended a number of parties in Argentina over the festive period, including a New Year’s Eve bash at which he invited Palacio to perform.

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Palacio posted a picture on Instagram posing with Messi at the party last week, with the caption: “I got the greatest to dance. Thanks to all the Messi family for the invitation.”

The 31-year-old DJ has since been subjected to abusive messages online following Messi’s positive COVID-19 test, with users suggesting he is the man responsible for the PSG forward’s diagnosis.

In response, Palacio has come out to set the record straight while also providing video evidence of his own negative COVID-19 test.

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“I am a trend on Twitter because Messi tested positive for COVID-19,” he said on Instagram. “They relate this to me saying that I infected him. They have even called me ‘murderer.’ I have a lot of very bad private messages. Yesterday I got tested because I have to travel to Uruguay and I do not have COVID-19.”

Messi will have to register a negative test before being cleared to return to France. As a result, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has been ruled out of PSG’s Coupe de France Round of 32 clash against Vannes on Jan. 3. Depending on his test results and the timing of his travel, Messi may also be unavailable for the Ligue 1 leaders’ trip to Lyon on January 9

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PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino admitted uncertainty regarding Messi’s upcoming availiability in his latest press conference: “I don’t know if he will be there against Lyon. He will come back from Argentina when he is negative. Until he gets a negative test in Argentina, he will not be able to travel to France. So it is all down to the test in terms of when he can travel…We will assess when he is ready to play.”

Also testing positive among the PSG first-team squad were Danilo Pereira, Juan Bernat, Sergio Rico and Nathan Bitumazala. France reported 219,126 new COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period on Jan. 1, according to a report by ESPN, the fourth day in a row that the country has recorded more than 200,000 cases.

Why was Messi in Argentina?

After his first few months settling in with PSG in Paris, Messi spent the 2021 year-end holidays in Argentina. The last PSG match he featured in was the 1-1 draw against Lorient on Dec. 22, during which Messi and his PSG teammates struggled without Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Messi later traveled to his native city of Rosario in Argentina, where videos and photos shared on social media showed him relaxing with family.

There were alarm bells set off among media outlets in Argentina when it was discovered Messi wasn’t on the private jet that took PSG teammates and Argentine compatriots Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes back to Paris after the holiday break.

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