Jorge Messi: Don’t blame Leo over tax

Lionel Messi’s father Jorge has sprung to his son’s defence over the alleged tax fraud the pair have become involved in.

The Barcelona player and his father are accused of swindling the state out of just over €4m in tax payments between the years 2007 and 2009, through the sale of image rights to third parties via companies abroad.

Messi has denied any knowledge of the alleged offence and is understood to have since pad €5m as a ‘corrective’ payment for the period, while he is also believed to have paid €10m to tax authorities as a supplementary declaration for money owed for the years 2010 and 2011.

However, Messi’s father told Cadena COPE his son had nothing to do with the problems over tax and that his uncharacteristically poor form last season could not be blame on it.

“Over this matter with [the Spanish tax authorities] Hacienda I want to be very cautious,” said Jorge.

“I’ve always said that Lionel has nothing to do with it, so there is no reason to talk about it. Besides, my lawyers are already dealing with it and it’s to do with me, not Leo.

“People don’t know him. He’s a very normal guy, like any other. He’s a family man, has fun, and tries to enjoy himself.

“Last year was his worst since he has been playing for Barca. I don’t know why, but it’s true there were a lot of things.

“The last two years have been unusual in that there were injuries and things coming out that were taking their toll, but I think it was the injuries that were mostly to blame,” he maintained.

Tags Jorge Messi Lionel Messi