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Lionel Messi ‘sentenced to 21 months in prison’ after £3.5m tax avoidance over three years

Barcelona's No10 is unlikely to serve any time behind bars while his father has had his sentence reduced from 21 months to 15

Lionel Messi has been sentenced to 21 months in prison, but is unlikely to face any jail time.

El Espanol report the Barcelona forward has been found guilty of breaching three tax offences, which total around £3.5million in the years 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Lionel Messi has been sentenced to 21 months in prison

Reuters
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Lionel Messi has been sentenced to 21 months in prison

He also failed to declare around £8.7m in image rights.

However, as Spanish law denotes that an sentence under two years can be served as probation, Messi is unlikely to spend any time in jail.

His father Jorge was also given a 21-month sentence, but his has been reduced to 15.

Lionel Messi couldn't help Barcelona win La Liga despite scoring against Eibar

Getty Images
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Barcelona failed to win La Liga despite Messi’s 37 league goals

However, he will be forced to pay a fine of around £1.7m.

Jorge Messi was originally ordered to pay a fine of £1.3m, but that has been reduced to £1.1m.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s team-mates, Neymar and Javier Mascherano, have also been been accused of tax fraud, with the former ordered to stand trial.

Neymar has been ordered to stand trial for fraud in Spanish court following transfer from Santos

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Neymar has been ordered to stand trial for fraud in Spanish court following transfer from Santos

 

Barcelona face Alaves in the Copa del Rey final this weekend.

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