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Lionel Messi Given 21-Month Prison Sentence For Tax Fraud

The court of Catalonia has sentenced Lionel Messi and his father Jorge to 21 months in prison for evading more than €4 million in owed tax payments. However, since the sentence is less than two years and both of the accused have a clean criminal record, they’ll likely escape serving any time behind bars.

FC Barcelona were quick to support their star player with the following statement: “FC Barcelona gives all its support to Leo Messi and his father with relation to the sentence for tax evasion handed out by the Provincial Court in Barcelona today.”

The statement concluded by saying, “FC Barcelona continues to be at the disposal of Leo Messi and his family to support him in whatever action he decides to take in defense of his honesty and his legal interests.”

Messi had previously told the court, “I was playing football, I knew nothing.” He alleges that he signed the documents without reading them because of the trust he has in those who manage his finances. 

“I only worried about playing football,” he told the judge. 


Messi’s father says the accounts for Lionel’s image rights had been created after consulting and getting approval from a legal adviser.

Messi, whose recent retirement from international football is still making headlines across the world, is due to attend Barcelona’s start of pre-season training next week.

At this point, the sentencing is not seen as hindering Messi’s football career moving forward. 

(H/T: The Guardian

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