27/11/2019

Lionel Messi admits he considered leaving Barcelona amid 2013 tax fraud investigation


Five moment Barcelona captain Lionel Messi and Ballon Dor winner has shown he considered leaving the club.
The Argentina international, who has been in Barcelona because he was 13 and so is now their all-time high scorer, stated he believedbadly handled by Spain when he had been investigated for tax fraud in 2013.
He had been found guilty in 2016 along with his dad Jorge of defrauding the Spanish government of $4.2m between 2007 and 2009 over income earned from picture rights.
Messi ordered to pay a fine of 2m and was handed a prison sentence of 21 months. After he was able to exchange his sentence as in Spain defendants without a conviction are allowed to serve any sentence of under two years on probation, however, he didnt serve any prison time.
He was investigated in 2013, starting lots of tax fraud cases against footballers from Spain including Marcelo, Javier Mascherano and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Sincerely, in the moment , I thought about leaving, Messi confessed to Barcelona-based radio channel RAC1 in an interview broadcast on Wednesday.
Not due to Barcelona but since I wanted to leave Spain, I felt really badly treated and I didnt want to keep here any longer.
I had my doors available to many clubs but I still never got a formal deal because everybody knew I really wanted to remain. This situation went beyond my feelings for Barca.
Messi also implied that the tax authorities made an example out of him since they cracked down after the financial crisis struck of Spain.
I was the first and that is why they came down really hard on me. They made a good example of me and also showed that it was likely to be like this for everybody. It was tough for everything that was occurring at that time, he explained.

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