Barcelona's talismanic footballer Lionel Messi and his father were on Wednesday sentenced to 21 months in jail in three tax fraud worth 2 million euros
Lionel Messi. Pic/AFP
However, these prison sentences are likely to be suspended as is common in Spain for first offences for non-violent crimes carrying a sentence of less than two years.
Superstar Messi, considered the world's best player, was tried alongside his father Jorge after defrauding Spain's tax authority of 4.1m euros (£3.19m) from 2007-09.
Messi given 21 months in jail for tax fraud, but won't actually go to prison. Tax frauds the world over will be looking to move to Spain.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 6, 2016
Earlier, the four-day trial ended on June 3 in Barcelona with both prosecutors contending that Messi’s father, Jorge Horacio Messi, was the main person responsible for defrauding Spain's tax authority of 4.1 million euros from 2007-09. The legal representative for the tax office called for a prison sentence of 22 months each for both Messi and his father.
Lionel Messi's tax fraud trial had concluded with a public prosecutor calling for the player’s acquittal and the government prosecutor renewing his demand for a conviction.