Barcelona forward facing jail time

Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi has denied knowledge of tax fraud to a court in Barcelona.

Lionel Messi

Messi and his father, Jorge, have been charged with three counts of tax fraud worth €4.1million, dating back to a period from 2007 to 2009.

Proceedings began on Tuesday but the Barcelona forward arrived to testify in person on Thursday, just four days before he is due to represent Argentina in the Copa America Centenario in the United States.

The 28-year-old denied knowledge of any fraudulent activities, stating that football was his only focus.

"I never asked my dad about these things," Messi is quoted as telling the court by .

"The truth is that, as I said before, I trusted him and the lawyers. I didn't know anything about it, I just played football."

When questioned about the existence of a company called Jenbril, registered in Uruguay to handle payments relating to his image rights, Messi said: "I didn't know I was a member and manager of this company, I signed it because he [Jorge Messi] said so and I trusted him and the lawyers.

"All I knew was that I was signing a deal with sponsors to do adverts, photo shoots and things like that.

"I remember we went to a notary but I was 18 when I signed it and as you can imagine, I was in a different world. I don't remember anything about it."

Jorge Messi repeatedly told the court his son "knew nothing about it".

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng

Recommended articles

Will Southgate let England off the leash at Euro 2020?

Germany turns rainbow-coloured in protest at UEFA stadium ban

Spain and Portugal risk early exits at Euro 2020, rainbow row overshadows Germany game

Heavyweight boxer Deontay Wilder planning a trip to Nigeria after tracing his ancestry to the Edo tribe

Spain and Portugal risk early exits at Euro 2020, rainbow row overshadows Germany game

LaLiga income exceeded €5 billion in the 19/20 season despite COVID-19

UFC star Israel Adesanya earned N352M from his last fight

Liverpool star Sadio Mane builds hospital in his village in Senegal

Modric masterclass shows up Scotland's shortcomings