Fri Jul 01 10:19am EDT
Remember that ridiculous bit of completely made up nonsense about Messi saying that even his ghost would only play for Barca we ran earlier this week? Well, those lovable scamps over at ESPN Soccernet seem to have thought they were real quotes. Seriously. Despite the first words of the post's headline being "Future News" and it being clearly categorized as "nonsense," they wrote about these fictional quotes (ahem, without crediting their source) in which Messi says his ghost will not accept Real Madrid's spirit money in the afterlife as if they were things he actually said.
Once I pointed this out on Twitter, they quickly removed the section of their weekly "Off The Ball" column about it (there's still evidence in the URL, though), but you can see their original write-up here...
Just last week, French football site So Foot used our equally fictional quotes from Cesc Fabregas saying that London tapas have made him not want to move to Barca anymore. So this is either a sign that several prominent outlets need to improve their news gathering practices or I need to get better at writing jokes that people don't think are real things.
Anyway, the lesson in all this should be: Don't believe everything you read, even if it's been picked up by someplace important.
UPDATE: ESPN put the Messi section back in the Off The Ball column, but it now starts with, "A great spoof, which certainly had us going, from Dirty Tackle..."