This Soccer Star Is So Big You Can't Fly a Plane Over His House
Lionel Messi's hallowed presence supposedly blocked Barcelona's recent airport expansion.
Lionel Messi, 30, is one of the two most famous athletes on the planet. The soccer player from Argentina has scored 365 goals for FC Barcelona since making his head-turning debut in 2004, and his net worth is reportedly valued at around $340 million. But Messi is so powerful and revered, in fact, that he's got at least one bragging right that towers over other sports greats the world over: Barcelona El Prat, the city's main airport, has had to suspend plans for expansion because they are not allowed to fly planes over his house.
Previously, it had been reported that plans for expansions were discarded for environmental and financial reasons. But, on Wednesday, Javier Sanchez-Prieto, the president of the low-cost Spanish airline Vueling, said the airport is looking for ways to create a badly-needed new terminal, but they are going to have to work around the abode of the soccer superstar.
"You cannot pass over where Messi lives," Javier Sanchez-Prieto said during a talk at Barcelona's ESADE university. "This doesn't happen anywhere else in the world."
Messi lives in the Castelldefels area, a stunning coastal town overlooking the Catalan mountains that is 22 miles south of Barcelona and only 6 miles away from its major airport.
He shares the mansion, which includes a small soccer pitch, with his wife and their three children.
And for more on the bizarre intersection of soccer stars and air travel, check out Christiano Ronaldo's new statue at the airport in Madeira, Portugal.
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