LIONEL Messi has had tax charges dropped by Spanish prosecutors, but his father could still face 18 months in jail.

Messi courtThe Barcelona star and father Jorge were accused of not paying €4.1 million.

Jorge is charged with using offshore companies based in Uruguay and Belize to avoid paying tax on his son’s image rights between 2007 and 2009.

Messi argued successfully that he had not taken responsibility for his tax at the time.

A prosecutor statement said: “The prosecution concludes that, due to his age and links with his father, it was Jorge who handled the economic affairs of the son.

“It is not proven that his [Lionel Messi’s] lack of knowledge was deliberate or was done with the aim of defrauding the public purse.”

Jorge Messi could also face a €2 million fine if found guilty.