The Barcelona superstar has been
given a suspended term by a Spanish
court, meaning he is expected to avoid
spending time behind bars
Barcelona star Lionel Messi has been
handed a 21-month prison sentence for
tax fraud but is unlikely to serve time in
Any sentence under two years can be
suspended under Spanish law, meaning
Messi is expected to avoid spending a
day behind bars, according to
widespread reports.
Messi, one of the world’s highest-paid
footballers, was tried alongside his
father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for
deceiving Spain’s tax authority of €4.1
million (£3.19m) between 2007 and
The forward, who recently announced
his retirement from the Argentina
national team, has also been fined six
weeks’ wages worth £1.7 million.
The 29-year-old was accused of
creating a number of fake companies in
Belize and Uruguay to avoid taxation on
his lucrative image rights.
Messi claimed he never suspected any
wrongdoing about his financial affairs,
but a court has found both he and his
father guilty in the crime.
Jorge has also been given the same
sentence and both can appeal through
the Supreme Court.