Messi heads to appeal after guilty verdict tax fraud case

By Isoccer Staff

Lionel Messi is set to appeal the guilty verdict in his tax fraud case, according to his lawyers.

On Wednesday morning, the Argentinian superstar received a 21-month suspended jail sentence, as did his father.

The pair were judged to have avoided tax from 2007-2009, attracting a combined fine of €3.5 million.

They are highly unlikely to actually be imprisoned though, as sentences of up to two years in Spain can be under probation.

According to Reuters, Messi is now due to fight the verdict.

The Barcelona No.10’s lawyers are adamant he was unaware of the fraud, while stating: “The sentence is not correct and we are confident the appeal will show the defence was right.”

Messi has also endured a difficult time in his football career this summer, retiring from international football following the Copa America Centenario.

He captained his side to the final of the tournament last month, with four goals and two assists, but fell to a penalty shoot-out loss to Chile in the final.

It was Messi’s third international final defeat in as many summers, with Argentina having failed to score against Germany in the 2014 World Cup and Chile in the 2015 Copa America.

The disappointment for La Albiceleste followed another successful campaign at club level, however, with Messi having netted 32 goals across La Liga and the Champions League.

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