Lionel Messi faces tax case

Barcelona star Lionel Messi appeared at a court in Catalonia on Friday to answer questions relating to tax evasion.

Last Updated: 27/09/13 at 15:30 Post Comment

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Argentina international Messi and his father Jorge appeared at the hearing in the coastal town of Gava, where Messi lives, near Barcelona after being accused of defrauding the state out of £3.5million by avoiding tax on his image rights.

Messi was questioned for half an hour and his father an hour before the pair were whisked away in separate cars.

The prosecution alleges the Messis set up shell companies in Uruguay and Belize to avoid paying tax in Spain.

Both men deny the charge, saying the deals, which took place between 2007 and 2009, were done by Messi's former agent without their knowledge.

The Messis have since made a payment of £4.2million to the taxman, the alleged unpaid amount plus interest, but it did not stop the hearing from taking place with Spanish authorities eager to clamp down given the country's financial problems.

Friday's hearing will determine whether the case is pursued further.

Even if it is not, the issue has tarnished Messi's clean-cut image.

The 26-year-old has overcome a childhood growth issue to become one of the most recognisable - and wealthy - sportsmen on the planet.

A four-time FIFA World Player of the Year, Messi has scored 323 goals in 387 appearances for Barcelona.


Sky Bet Free Bet Club: £10 free bet - £5 free every week


More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

G

ood lord that's got me unnecessarily excited. Damn you Storey. Cut to Liverpool being crushed under the wheels of Sparky's Stoke Machine and Firmino brought off the bench to no effect. It's the hope that kills you.

suarez_blind
Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

N

o Schweini? Have to admit that I did a little sex wee when we signed him and I can't wait to see him in action!!!

spence
F365's Top Ten Players We Can't Wait To Watch

I

think he'll do quite well. My only reservation would be Kagawa, who had similar stats to Firmino in the bundesliga before he came, but time will tell.

GVMUFC
Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

Footer 365

Clyne: Title challenge the aim for Liverpool

Nathaniel Clyne says Liverpool's season aim should be to challenge for the Premier League title and make the final of a cup competition.

United plummet below City in rankings

Manchester United have fallen four places behind Manchester City and dropped to 20th overall in UEFA's club coefficient rankings.

Gareth Bale says he's happy at Real Madrid

Wales star Gareth Bale insists he's settled with Real Madrid and wants to play in a central attacking role for them.

Mail Box

Pedro Really Is Louis Van Gaal's 'Answer'

For all the United worrying, Pedro really could be the key to happiness. Plus more predictions, Chelsea's squad, Thierry Henry, Diego Costa and El Clasicoast...

Chelsea Are Stronger Than Last Season

One Chelsea fan points out that they won the league last year and have improved, so... Plus thoughts on United worries, pre-season predictions, Valdes and Chuba...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company