LEGENDARY football star Lionel Messi could quit Barcelona FC over the threat of a prison sentence.

Crowned La Liga’s all-time top goal scorer this weekend, Messi could face jail amid accusations of undeclared income.

Messi and his father Jorge have been accused of hiding €4.1 million in companies in Belize and Uruguay, to avoid tax obligations in Spain.

The 27-year-old agreed to pay a €5 million settlement earlier this year but, according to Spanish law, anyone who has more than €120,000 in undeclared income automatically faces a jail sentence.

In practice, this is usually waived if they agree to pay. But sources close to Messi told El Confidencial: “There are other elite sportspeople who have tax problems and they’ve all been settled administratively.

“Messi is the only one who faces legal proceedings that could end with him going to jail. He’s fed up with Spain and that’s why he wants to leave.”

The Argentinian became La Liga’s top goalscorer after scoring a hat-trick during Saturday’s match at home to Sevilla, setting the new record at 253 goals.

Meanwhile the Spanish tax authorities are reportedly investigating four other Barca stars for tax violations in relation to agents fees and image rights.

Imogen Calderwood

About Imogen Calderwood

DO YOU HAVE NEWS FOR US at Spain’s most popular English newspaper - the Olive Press? Contact us now via email: newsdesk@theolivepress.es or call 951 273 575. To contact the newsdesk out of regular office hours please call +34 665 798 618.

1 COMMENT

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.