Barcelona star athlete Lionel Messi, consensually considered by many as the best football player in the World, saw his name storming into the news as it has usually happened throughout his career, but this time it certainly didn’t occur for the reasons one would expect. The Argentinian prodigy and his father Jorge Horacio Messi, are being accused by “Barcelona’s Economic Crimes Prosecutor” (Fiscalía de Delitos Económicos de Barcelona) for being responsible of tax evasion actions between 2007 and 2009, for a total amount of 4 million euros. The 25-year old will turn 26 later this month (June 24), and earlier this year signed a new contract with the new Spanish champions FC Barcelona, on which he is reportedly earning an annual net salary of 16 million euros.
However, the Spanish prosecutor office is claiming that the Argentinian has been evading taxes concerning his image rights earnings and royalties for the the 3 consecutive years mentioned above (2007, 2008 and 2009). According to a statement released by the same Spanish prosecutor, Messi and his father have intentionally attempted to deceive the tax system, by pretending to have granted the permission to explore his image rights to companies strategically based on tax havens locations (Belize and Uruguay). At the same time and to help covering the whole plot, whoever manages Messi‘s finances has also engaged into several activities between those fictitious “gate companies” and others conveniently domiciled in the United Kingdom and Switzerland, in order to take advantage of specific jurisdictional laws and privileges.
The Spanish public prosecutor has also stated that they firmly believe that the fraudulent intention behind the whole scheme has been orchestrated by Lionel Messi‘s father Jorge Messi, who also acts as the Argentinian‘s player agent. Contrarily to what happens with many other top football players, Messi has trusted and relied on his father to manage his whole career, which may eventually cost him way too much if the courts end up ruling against him in the future. The Spanish law indicates that under these circumstances, the penalty could result into being sent to jail for a period of 2 to 6 years and fines can range around two to six times more the defrauded tax amount. In the other hand, Real Madrid main star and arguably the second best player in the World, Cristiano Ronaldo, has been under the protection of the World’s most famous football agent Jorge Mendes, since 2003.
Messi has reportedly cheated and defrauded the Spanish tax system for the exact sums of:
1.059.398,71 euros in 2007
1.572.183,38 euros in 2008
1.533.092,87 euros in 2009
TOTAL = 4.164.674,96 euros