Footballing superstar Lionel Messi and his father have appeared in court in Barcelona to answer tax evasion allegations to the tune of more than four million euros.
The Argentinian player and his father Jorge have already paid some five million euros to Spanish tax authorities to cover the alleged unpaid amount plus interest.
“We have demonstrated little desire to commit any fraud and a huge willingness to regulate the situation with the state agency for tax administration, in order to avoid any big battle with the state over the interpretation of tax laws,” said Messi’s lawyer, Cristobal Martell.
Income from the highly marketable Barcelona star and World Player of the Year is alleged to have been hidden using a complex web of shell companies in several different countries. Messi and his father deny any wrongdoing.