Barcelona star Lionel Messi handed 21-month suspended prison sentence

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The sentence has also been handed down onto Messi’s father, Jorge, with the duo found guilty of defrauding Spain of €4.1m in taxes between 2007 and 2009, concealing monies earned from image rights.

Messi has previously claimed he “knew nothing” about his financial affairs.

It seems unlikely the duo will serve prison time, as under new Spanish law, a prison sentence under two years can be served under probation.

The sentence can also be appealed through the Spanish supreme court, which Messi and his father are expected to do.