IT was seemingly an act of astounding genorosity and perhaps not surprising for Spain’s most popular football player.
When Andres Iniesta – Spain’s midfield dynamo – returned from the team’s glorious win at Euro 2012, he apparently offered to donate his €300,000 winnings to victims of the huge Valencia fires.
Already a multi-millionaire, the Barcelona ace was said to be giving the sum to help the hundreds of distraught homeowners, evacuated after wildfires tore through the region.
Heralding from next door Albacete, it seemed like an extemely touching gesture, after 45,000 hectares were destroyed.
The only problem was the Valencia-based journalist who wrote the story got the wrong end of the stick.
After putting it on his Twitter page the news spread, appropriately, like wildfire, making Iniesta even more of a national hero in a matter of hours.
Until came the stout denial from Valencia Town Hall.
“We didn’t say anything like that,” announced a quickly cobbled together press release.
“Even if Iniesta had decided to make a donation, we would not have told the press because we cannot comment on donations made by individuals.”
Finally, Iniesta himself was drawn into the claim, with a firm – and final – denial.
“No, it’s not true,” confirmed the midfielder. “I don’t know where that idea came from.”
After all, perhaps he needed the money for his glamourous nuptials marrying Anna Ortiz, in Tarragona, at the weekend.
Attended by fellow players Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas. He probably needed it to pay for the champagne bill.