Lionel Messi sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud

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Barcelona, July 6: Argentine superstar footballer Lionel Messi was today (July 6) handed a 21-month prison sentence for 3 tax frauds, according to reports in the Spanish media.

Messi quits international football

Messi's father Jorge Horacio Messi was also handed the same sentence for 3 tax crimes, Reuters news agency tweeted on Wednesday evening. The duo was also fined.

Lionel Messi

"However, under Spanish law a prison sentence under two years can be served under probation, meaning Messi and his father are unlikely to go to jail.

"The court ordered Messi to pay a fine of around 2 million euros ($2.21 million) and his father to pay 1.5 million euros for the crimes," Reuters reported.

"Spanish court says sentences for Messi, father can be appealed through the supreme court," the news agency added in another tweet.

"Argentina and Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud, Spanish media say," BBC reported.

Recently, 29-year-old Messi retired from international football after missing a penalty in the Copa America final against Chile. He will continue to play for his club side Barcelona.

In May, Messi had testified in the tax fraud case. They had evaded 4.1 million euros in taxes in Spain. "I never look at the money side. That's something my dad deals with and I trust in him," Messi had told the judge who was investigating the case, in May, according to a report in "The Telegraph".

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