The tax fraud charges filed in June were a stunning blow to the prestige of Messi, long seen as a more humble figure than most top-class footballers — in particular his fierce Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
The ruling by a judge in Gava, a Mediterranean coastal town near Barcelona, said the Argentine player’s father Jorge Messi had deposited 5.02 million euros with the court on August 14 to cover more than four million euros in unpaid taxes, plus interest.
The judge rejected a prosecutors’ request for the Argentina international to be obliged to deposit a financial bond so as to ensure he pays any fine on the tax charges.
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