FC Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi has been handed a 21 month jail sentence in the tax fraud case against both him and his father and representative Jorge.
The 29 year old five time winner of the Golden Ball for world’s best footballer was convicted by the court in Barcelona hearing the case Wednesday.
Messi was sentenced to 21 months in jail as well as a fine of €2m. His father also received a jail sentence and a fine of €1.5m.
However, both are unlikely to spend any time in jail, as first time offenders with sentences under two years are allowed to get off on probation under Spanish law.
The Argentine forward, who recently retired from international duty, was convicted on three counts of tax fraud, including a charge of “defrauding Spain of €4.1m between 2007 and 2009” and for “using tax havens in Belize and Uruguay to conceal earnings from image rights.” The BBC reported.
Messi has maintained throughout the trial that he has nothing to do with his finances.