The four time Ballon D’Or winner will appear in front of a Spanish court.
Barcelona superstar and the man widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, Lionel Messi, has been summoned to a Spanish court in reference to his alleged tax fraud.
Messi will appear in court on September 17 over accusations that he and his father Jorge have conned the Spanish authorities out of £3.4m in unpaid tax.
It’s been said that the 25-year-old and his father have been illegally selling the rights to the Barca star’s image to countries such as Belize and Uruguay.
Whilst both parties deny the allegations if the Messi duo are found guilty they could face up to six years in prison and a seriously hefty fine.
The squeaky clean image of the Argentinian, his rise to fame from a modest background back in South America and his undeniable talent on the pitch has made the Catalan forward one of the most marketable sportsmen in the world.
Messi currently has advertising contracts with companies such as Adidas and Pepsi, as well as numerous others and it’s claimed that through this marketability of the player, Leo and Jorge have committed tax fraud on three occasions.
The four-time winner of the prestigious Ballon D’Or trophy was recently ranked by Forbes magazine as the 10th richest sportsman in the world, with David Beckham the only footballer with a larger wealth.
Barcelona themselves have given no credit to the fraud claims, as have Messi’s chief sponsors, with all involved confident nothing will come of the court case.
Either way as the situation rumbles on it continues to dent the clean cut and moral persona the Argentina international is believed to have.