Lionel Messi latest news: In breaking news today, former Argentinian national team captain and Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi is being jailed for 21 months in Spain. Lionel Messi and his father Jorge Messi are being accused of tax fraud and are condemned to prison. The latest news is that both father and son are being sentenced to prison and are facing fines worth millions of euros for defrauding Spain between the years 2007 and 2009.
Jorge Messi hid $4.5 million from the Spanish government by using tax havens in Uruguay and Belize to conceal money Lionel Messi made from image rights. They were found guilty on three counts of tax fraud by the Barcelona court in Spain. Lionel was fined $2.2 million, and his father was fined $1.7 million.
Fortunately, there is some good news for Lionel Messi’s beloved fans. Messi was handed a “suspended” jail term. Lucky for the Messi’s, under the Spanish system, prison sentences under two years can be served via probation, which means that neither Lionel nor Jorge will have to spend any time in jail. Phew! That was a close shave for the legendary footballer!
Messi has maintained his stance of innocence during the trial claiming that he “knew nothing” about his financial affairs since he was busy ‘’playing football’.” Jorge Messi defended himself saying he was incapable of orchestrating such a blasphemous crime since he did not have enough knowledge and technical know-how. He blamed his tax consultants for the tax evasion fraud.
As of 2016, Lionel Messi’s net worth is $350 million, and he is the highest-paid footballer in the world, even outranking Cristiano Ronaldo by a small margin. He retired from international football at the end of last month.