Messi Denies Allegations of Tax Evasion in Spain, El Pais Says

Soccer Player Lionel Messi
Soccer player Lionel Messi last season helped Barcelona to its fourth Spanish league title in five years. Photographer: Lluis Gene/AFP via Getty Images

Lionel Messi, Barcelona’s four-time world soccer player of the year, denied allegations of tax evasion filed by prosecutors in Spain, El Pais reported.

Prosecutors in Catalonia filed a complaint today alleging that Messi and his father Jorge failed to declare income from sponsorship deals dating back to 2005, evading 4 million euros ($5.3 million) of taxes, El Pais said.

“We have never committed any offense whatsoever,” the newspaper cited Messi as saying on its website. “We have always met all our tax obligations following the guidance of our advisers, who will take charge of clearing up this situation.”

Messi last season helped Barcelona to its fourth Spanish league title in five years.

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