A damages claim lodged by Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs against The Sun newspaper was dismissed by a High Court judge in London on Friday.
Giggs claimed the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid "misused" private information and argued that he was entitled to claim damages for distress and breach of a right to privacy enshrined in human rights legislation.
But lawyers for The Sun argued that Giggs's claim - made after the newspaper published an article about a relationship with reality television star Imogen Thomas - was "dead in the water".
Hugh Tomlinson, acting for Giggs, argued at a hearing last month that The Sun misused private information in the article, in which the Wales international was not identified.
The lawyer said Giggs was claiming damages for the re-publication of information in other newspapers and on the Internet which had generated "a large media storm", and his claim should go to trial.
Tomlinson said the point of the claim was to "provide effective protection" for Giggs's right to privacy as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.
But Richard Spearman, a lawyer for The Sun's publisher News Group Newspapers, said the article reported Thomas's relationship with a Premier League player and did not identify Giggs.
The paper had therefore behaved "properly" and was not to blame for what happened after the article appeared.