Argentina and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and his father Jorge have been sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud by a Catalan court, according to Spanish media sources.
But under Spanish law, sentences under two years are usually suspended and neither are likely to serve any time in prison.
The long-running case relates to a scheme to avoid paying £3.4m (Dh16.2m) of tax on Lionel Messi’s image rights.
The Argentina and Barcelona star and his father were found guilty of using companies in Belize and Uruguay to avoid paying taxes on Messi’s income earned from his image rights from 2007-09.
The income related to Messi’s image rights that was allegedly hidden includes endorsement deals with Banco Sabadell, Danone, Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Procter & Gamble and the Kuwait Food Company.