Barcelona have given Lionel Messi ‘all its support’ after the forward and his father were sentenced for tax evasion.
Leo and Jorge Messi were given 21 months for evading tax on €4.1m in image rights, but Spanish law means that as the sentence is under 24 months and there is no criminal record, neither man is likely to serve any time in prison.
“Barcelona gives all its support to Leo Messi and his father with relation to the sentence for tax evasion handed out by the Provincial Court in Barcelona today,” a statement on the Catalan club’s website begins.
“The club, in agreement with the Government prosecution service, considers that the player, who has corrected his position with the Spanish Tax Office, is in no way criminally responsible with regards to the facts underlined in this case.
“Barcelona continues to be at the disposal of Leo Messi and his family to support him in whatever action he decides to take in defence of his honesty and his legal interests.”