Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father Jorge are going to trial for three instances of alleged tax fraud, reports the Daily Mirror.
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The pair have been accused of avoiding paying the correct amount of tax on commercial earnings from the sales of image rights to third parties and overseas entities in the years 2007, 2008, and 2009. The 27-year-old has denied any knowledge of what happened, and has since paid £11 million in corrective payments and supplementary declarations. However, the Argentina international did ratify the deals once he was of age, which could make him liable.
However, a hearing has decided that whether is was involved is something to be decided by a trial. This is despite his father absolving him of any blame, claiming that he had no idea what was going on.
Jorge said: “I’ve always said that Lionel has nothing to do with it, so there is no reason to talk about it. Besides, my lawyers are already dealing with it and it’s to do with me, not Leo.
“People don’t know him. He’s a very normal guy, like any other. He’s a family man, has fun?, and tries to enjoy himself.”
This will surely put a dampener on the four time Ballon d’Or winner’s brilliant season. He scored 58 goals and assisted another 23 in 57 games to help his side to win La Liga, Copa del Rey, and the Champions League in a historic treble.
Now he is with the Argentina national team ahead of the Copa America, where yet more silverware could be won.