Lionel Messi: I'm not worried

2013-07-17 13:34
Lionel Messi (AFP)

Madrid - Barcelona star Lionel Messi on Tuesday said he was unconcerned about accusations of tax avoidance on income generated from the sale of his image rights and was confident his lawyers will solve the case.

Last month the 25-year-old and his father Jorge Horacio were ordered by a Spanish court to appear for questioning in September as part of an investigation into alleged tax fraud.

"I'm not worried, I'm always on the sidelines of all of that, just like my dad. We have our lawyers and our advisors who handle these things. We trust in them and they will solve the issue," he said.

"I don't understand anything about all of that, this is why we have people who handle these issues," he added at a news conference at the club's training ground.

Spanish financial crimes prosecutors filed papers with a court on June 12 accusing Messi and his father of defrauding the tax office of over four million euros ($5 million, 3.4 million) in income related to the use of his image from 2006-2009.

Messi and his father aimed to deceive the state by ceding the player's image rights to companies based in tax havens such as Belize and Uruguay so they would pay no tax in Spain, according to the prosecutor's complaint filed at a court in Gava, a Mediterranean coastal town near Barcelona.

The prosecutor's complaint also alleged the four-time World Player of the Year and his father drew up deals related to his image rights in Britain and Switzerland, ensuring that the income went straight to the tax havens without any tax being paid.

The accusations of tax fraud are a huge blow to the prestige of Messi, who has long been seen as a more humble figure than most top-class footballers -- in particular his fierce Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi's lawyers office, Juarez Veciana, have said the player "scrupulously complies with Spanish legislation" and will "pay any amount that he is eventually found to owe".

Read more on:    barcelona  |  lionel messi  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.