Lionel Messi has lost his appeal against allegations that he cheated the Spanish authorities out of €4.1million in tax. The Barcelona star and his father Jorge Horacio Messi will stand trial for allegedly selling image rights via foreign-based companies to avoid Spanish tax obligations.
Both deny wrongdoing.
In August, Jorge Messi paid €5million to the Spanish authorities – the €4.1m of the alleged unpaid tax plus interest.
In 2004, unnamed sources told El Confidencial: “… there are other elite sportspeople who have tax problems and they’ve all been settled administratively, as was the case with Real Madrid players Xabi Alonso and Iker Casillas and tennis star Rafa Nadal.
“Messi is the only one who faces legal proceedings that could end with him going to jail. He’s fed up with Spain and that’s why he wants to leave.”
Cue transfer speculation frenzy.