Lionel Messi sentenced to 21 months in jail for tax fraud

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Messi leaves court.

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.

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IN PICTURES: Lionel Messi's notable Argentina moments

Sport360 staff 27/06/2016
Messi announced his international retirement on Monday.

Many will point to his lack of international glory as a mark on his legacy, but Messi has still achieved a lot more than most for his country.

And while he may well return to the fold, here are some of the moments from his 11 year international career that began at the tender age of 18.

Do you think Messi's retirement will last? Was it the right or wrong decision to make?

Share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.

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Barcelona superstar Messi celebrates his 29th birthday

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Many happy returns to world-beater Messi.

Ahead of Argentina's Copa America final against Chile and Messi's latest opportunity to win his first major trophy for his country, the little magician is celebrating his 29th birthday.

After a double-winning season in Spain with Barcelona, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is hoping to cap a stellar campaign in style at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium on Sunday night.

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Here's the other sporting stars who are celebrating their birthday on June 24th:

1972: Robbie McEwen, cyclist (44).

1978: Luis Garcia, former Barcelona, Liverpool and Spain winger (38).



1978: Shunsuke Nakamura, former Celtic midfielder, now back in Japan with Yokohama F Marinos (38).

1978: Juan Roman Riquelme, former Argentina, Barcelona, Villarreal and Boca Juniors playmaker (38).



1980: Cicinho, former Brazil, Real Madrid and Roma defender, now with Sivasspor in Turkey (36).

1982: Kevin Nolan, Leyton Orient midfielder, formerly of Bolton, Newcastle and West Ham (34).

1986: Stuart Broad, England and Nottinghamshire cricketer (30).



1988: Micah Richards, Aston Villa defender (28).

1992: David Alaba, Bayern Munich and Austria defender (24).


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