Lionel Messi and his father Jorge Horacio Messi are facing a trial over an alleged 4.1 million euros (Rs 30 crore approx) tax fraud.
Messi’s lawyers appealed against his appearing in the court but it was turned down by a Barcelona court.
Prosecutors retorted that Messi had signed the contracts when he turned 18 and was listed as a sole administrator of one of the fraudulent companies in question.
The court said that there was enough evidence that Messi has ‘benefitted’ from a network of companies that has helped him to skirt the laws of the Spanish Tax Agency, according to a report in Spanish newspaper El Pais.
It was deemed as tax fraud on the footballer’s part even though he may not have been completely aware of it.
However, these allegations first surfaced back in 2007-09 when Messi and his father, Jorge — who is also his agent — were accused of evading tax obligations in Spain by using companies in Belize and Uruguay to sell the image rights of the player.
Messi have repeatedly said that neither him nor his father have ever committed any tax infringements and have always been upright with their tax payments.