The phrase in question was written on 27 June, in response to a tweet from a journalist from the Sábado magazine, who spoke about the transfer of the Portuguese striker for €120 million in which she questioned if the sale of the footballer João Félix “will not be a laundry business”.

“A 19-year-old football player who played a half-season in a third-class championship, and in which he revealed himself, is sold for €120 million, which is the fourth largest transfer ever,” the journalist said.

“I have not yet read a rational explanation, or grounds, for this.”

Gomes reacted, leaving a question: “Is it not a laundry business?”

After having finalised the deal with Atlético Madrid, Benfica expressed the intention to sue Gomes, explaining that she related the sale “with a cash laundering/money laundering operation.”

“Her statement was the subject of significant repercussions in the national and foreign press, generating enormous indignation in the Sport Lisboa e Benfica, in the members of its corporate bodies, partners and supporters,” the club said.

For Benfica, the statement by Gomes does not constitute a case of freedom of expression, but “which, on the contrary, has the sole purpose of denigrating the name of Benfica and the members of its corporate bodies.”

This week Gomes sent a letter to several Portuguese and European instances, requesting the investigation of any crimes of fraud, tax evasion and money laundering through transfers of football players, based on documents released by the digital platform Football Leaks and by hacker Rui Pinto.

Gomes has been a supporter of Rui Pinto, a hacker collaborator of Football Leaks, who is detained for alleged illegal access and disclosure of Sporting documents and the investment fund Doyen and whose name has been associated with the dissemination of emails from Benfica.