Barcelona football star Lionel Messi has been sentenced to 21 months in prison and fined £1.7m over a tax fraud case in Spain.However, the striker – generally considered the best in the world currently – is unlikely to face any time in jail as a term of under two years in duration, for a non-violent offence, usually results in a period of probation under Spanish law.
The court in Barcelona found the Argentina player and his father, who handles his financial affairs, guilty of three offences. Jorge Messi was also handed a 21-month prison term and fine of €1.7m (£1.4m).
He and his son, who is understood to earn £26m in annual salary under his current club contract alone and said to be worth at least £240m, were told they had the right to take their sentences to appeal.
The 29-year old footballer told his trial he knew nothing of how his money was managed and admitted signing documents without reading them.