Lionel Messi and father accused of tax fraud

Lionel Messi (Getty)

Lionel Messi (Getty)

The World Player of the Year and his father Jorge allegedly filed fraudulent tax returns for the years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, according to a spokesperson for the prosecutor's office for tax crimes in Catalonia.

A Barca spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Messi, who will be 26 this month, is one of the world's highest-paid athletes with a salary of just over $20-million a season, according to Forbes magazine.

On top of his Barca wages, he pulls in around $21-million in endorsements from sponsors including Adidas, Pepsi and P&G and he is 10th on Forbes' latest list of top-earning athletes.

Messi came on for the final half-hour of Argentina's World Cup 2014 qualifier against Ecuador in Quito on Tuesday which ended in a 1-1 draw. – Reuters

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