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Barcelona star Lionel Messi cleared over tax fraud case

Prosecutors have dropped their tax fraud case against Lionel Messi. Credit: PA

Spanish prosecutors have cleared Barcelona star Lionel Messi of wrongdoing in a tax fraud case, but have called for the arrest of his father.

The Argentine footballer had been expected to stand trial in relation to unpaid taxes totalling more than €4 million (£3m).

A Spanish judge recently rejected an appeal filed by the player's lawyers to drop the Barcelona star from the case.

Prosecutors are still seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain's tax office in unpaid taxes from 2007 to 2009.

In the documents made public on Tuesday, prosecutors also called for a fine of €2 million (£1.5m) for the father of the Argentina playmaker.


Barcelona want Neymar for life

Neymar. Credit: PA

Brazilian forward Neymar will remain at Barcelona "for life" – so wishes the club's technical director Roberto Fernandez.

The 23-year-old underlined his status as one of the best players in his team last season when he scored 43 goals in all competitions as Barcelona won a Primera Division, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble.

Neymar is tied to the European champions until June 2018 and Barca recently expressed their intention to reward the Brazil star with a new deal that would make him the second highest paid player at the club behind Lionel Messi.

"We are currently working on Neymar's contract extension and I don't think there will be any type of problem," Fernandez said, as reported in Marca.

"I have no doubt in my mind that Neymar will spend the rest of his life at Barcelona."


Neymar confirms there was truth to Man Utd rumours

Barcelona forward Neymar has revealed he held talks about a possible move to Manchester United this summer.

Neymar had talks about a possible move to Man United. Credit: PA

United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward flew to Barcelona earlier in August.

At the time it was widely believed he had flown to Catalonia to try to tie up a deal for Pedro, who eventually joined Chelsea, but it has since emerged he had launched an audacious bid to sign Neymar.

When asked about United's interest, the Barca star told ESPN Brazil: "We had conversations, but there was nothing concrete.

"I heard that there were offers but none were made to me."

Neymar joined Barcelona from Santos in 2013. He scored 22 league goals in Barca's title-winning campaign last term.

He wants to keep on improving at the Nou Camp this year.

"I want to keep giving my all and evolve season to season," he said.

"I hope I will be on the Ballon d'Or podium this year."

Barcelona shocked by Celta Vigo

Barcelona's perfect start to the 2015-16 Primera Division season came to an end in emphatic fashion on Wednesday as they crashed to a shock 4-1 defeat at Celta Vigo.

The treble-winners fell behind in the 26th minute when ex-Barca man Nolito notched his fifth goal of the campaign with a superb curling effort from the side of the box.

John Guidetti was on the scoresheet. Credit: Reuters

He then turned provider in the 30th, taking advantage of a Gerard Pique mistake by nodding the ball on to Iago Aspas, who burst forward before coolly chipping over Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The Celta pair combined again for the third on 56 minutes, Nolito once more helping the ball on as the hosts broke away and Aspas keeping calm when clean through to beat Ter Stegen.

And after Neymar pulled an 80th-minute goal back, substitute John Guidetti clipped in three minutes later as unbeaten Celta wrapped up another triumph over their former boss Luis Enrique - his worst league defeat in charge of Barca - to add to the win they registered at the Nou Camp last term.

Messi cameo gives Barcelona win against Atletico

Lionel Messi celebrated the birth of his second child this week. Credit: Reuters

Lionel Messi came off the bench to inspire Barcelona to a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon Stadium on Saturday night.

Messi had been left out of the starting line-up after missing a day of training this week for the birth of his second child - but his introduction on the hour made an immediate impression.

Barcelona fell behind to a Fernando Torres opener early in the second half but Neymar's free-kick immediately levelled the scores before the Argentinian stepped up to seal victory 13 minutes from time.

Barcelona midfielder returns to West Ham

Alex Song has made the move. Credit: PA

West Ham co-owner David Gold has announced that the club have re-signed midfielder Alex Song on loan from Barcelona.

Song, 27, joined the Hammers on a season-long loan deal in August 2014.

And the Hammers have again landed the former Arsenal player on loan from the Spanish giants.

Gold tweeted: "It has just been confirmed. Alex Song has signed a season long loan deal to join West Ham. Welcome back Alex."

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