Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and his father Jorge Messi will today appear in court on charges of alleged tax fraud.
The 26-year-old and his father are accused of defrauding the state out of just over €4m in tax payments between the years of 2007 and 2009, through the sale of image rights to third parties using companies abroad.
The Barca player has denied knowledge of the alleged offence and has since paid €5m to account for the alleged deficit over the period.
He is also believed to have paid €10m for tax allegedly due to be owed for between 2010 and 2011.
Today’s hearing in a Barcelona court will determine whether the Messis will face criminal charges of tax evasion. It is believed that a charge and conviction would result in a substantial fine and a possible suspended prison sentence.