Messi's shock at tax fraud claims

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has said he was "surprised" by allegations from Spanish tax authorities that he owes them more than €4m (£3.4m). It is claimed the World Player of the Year and his father filed fraudulent tax returns.

Messi summoned to court over €4m tax fraud claims

Barcelona and Argentina's Lionel Messi is the current World Player of the Year. Credit: Cordon

Lionel Messi and his father Jorge have been summoned to court in Spain as part of an investigation into tax fraud allegations.

A court in Gava, near Barcelona - where Messi plays his football - accepted a prosecutor's complaint that Messi and his father defrauded the Spanish tax office of €4m (£3.4m) and the pair are scheduled to appear on September 17th.

Previously: Lionel Messi 'surprised' by tax dodging allegations

Lionel Messi 'surprised' by tax dodging allegations

Lionel Messi told Spanish news agency EFE he was surprised by the allegations and insisted he is innocent Credit: Reuters

Barcelona football star Lionel Messi said he was "surprised" by allegations from Spanish tax authorities that he owes them more than €4m (£3.4m).

In a statement released to Spanish news agency EFE he said:

"We have just known through the media about the claim filed by the Spanish tax authorities. We are surprised about the news, because we have never committed any infringement.

"We have always fulfilled all our tax obligations, following the advice of our tax consultants who will take care to clarify this situation."

Read: Lionel Messi and father accused of €4m tax fraud

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Lionel Messi and father accused of €4m tax fraud

Lionel Messi pictured during the 2013 Champions League final. Credit: Empics

Barcelona football star Lionel Messi and his father have been accused by Spanish tax authorities of defrauding the state of more than €4m (£3.4m).

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

The Argentinian forward is on an estimated €16m (£13.5m) annual salary at Barcelona.