The 5-year Facebook friendship of Lionel Messi and Adam Johnson has ended, after the Barcelona superstar was sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud. Johnson is said to have removed Messi from his friends list in light of the “deeply shameful” guilty verdict his one-time best friend received. “What he did is disgusting and I’ve just got no time for him anymore,” Johnson told the BSJ via Skype. “And after all I’ve done for him and all. Personally, it’s a real kick in the balls to be honest.”
Johnson continued attacking his former peer: “You know I vouched for that guy. I put my reputation on the line for him, supporting him throughout his trial. Now I look like as big a criminal as him.”
Sources close to Messi’s camp say he expected the move. In a brief Facebook message to the Argentinian Johnson wrote, “Listen mate, sorry about the trial and all, but honestly I just can’t be associated with someone like you. Hope you understand Leo. Your pal, Adam xoxox.”
As a parting gift, Johnson did provide one valuable tip to help 5-time Ballon d’Or winner based on his short experience in prison. “Take it from me mate, the whole ‘don’t drop the soap thing’ is a complete myth. It won’t make a blind bit of difference whether you drop it or not.”
The news is a sad end to a beautiful bromance. Messi was always Johnson’s biggest defender during his child abuse trial, flying to and from Newcastle for the trials in between playing for Barcelona. When Johnson’s ultimate verdict was read out, his Argentine amigo was standing next to him, weeping uncontrollably. “Not him, anyone but him,” Messi screamed as Johnson was dragged away. “Adaaaammm,” the last thing Johnson remembers hearing as the doors closed.
Like Johnson, Messi has always maintained his innocence but regardless Johnsons’ lawyers claim they strongly encouraged Adam to break off contact with Lionel in order to boost his public image. “Our client really should not be associated with him, even though he supposedly claims he’s innocent. Sure they all say that!”