Former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has been ordered to pay $30,000 to a man who says he found his lost dog.
The footballer, who now plays in Australia, said his Pomeranian named Lucci was stolen from a house in Los Angeles in 2019 and offered a reward.
Foster Washington, a rapper known as Killa Fame, says he reunited Mr Sturridge and his pet.
A Los Angeles court ruled for Mr Washington.
Court documents show that judgement was given against Mr Sturridge by default, meaning he did not respond to the complaint.
Judge Curtis Kin ordered that the footballer must pay Mr Washington $30,000 in damages and costs of $85.
The rapper told reporters that he felt “let down” by Mr Sturridge.
“Hopefully he pays up and doesn’t try to appeal it,” he said.
“I’m excited about it, I’ve been fighting this case for over a year, I can’t believe it’s over. When we found the dog I thought my life was going to be better.”
Ex-England international Mr Sturridge, who is 32 and now plays for Perth Glory in Australia’s A-League, posted videos of damage at his West Hollywood home and CCTV images of three hooded men in 2019 when Lucci went missing.
“We will pay anything for the dog,” he said. “Whoever brings my dog back, 20 grand, 30 grand, whatever.”
The footballer was reunited with his dog two days later, after Mr Washington posted images from his Twitter account, asking: “Is this Lucci.
After the missing Pomeranian was returned, Mr Sturridge said he was “so thankful” to people who had “raised awareness”, but did not say whether he had paid the reward.