Barcelona striker Lionel Messi has arrived at court to answer charges of tax evasion. The court will hear allegations that both Messi and his father Jorge withheld more than four million euros (£3.4m) by filing incomplete tax returns for the years 2006 to 2009.
His father Jorge Messi appeared in court an hour earlier. The World player of the Year and his father have both denied wrongdoing, and they have already made a 'corrective payment' to Spanish authorities of just over five million euros.
Argentine Gerardo Martino is to take over from Tito Vilanova as Barcelona coach, the Spanish club have said.
Barcelona have called a press conference for this evening amid reports coach Tito Vilanova is going to step down.
Club president Sandro Rosell and director of the football Andoni Zubizarreta will address the media at 8.30pm local time tonight, the Catalans announced on their official website.
Vilanova only took over from Pep Guardiola last summer, but missed a chunk of the season after undergoing treatment for cancer in the United States.
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.
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."
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.
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Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova will have surgery on his parotid gland tomorrow before undergoing six weeks of chemotherapy, the club have confirmed.
He had an operation on a tumour in his saliva glands in November 2011.
Vilanova took over as Barca coach from Guardiola at the end of last season and presided over a seamless transition, guiding them to a nine-point lead at the top of La Liga after 16 games.
Reports in the Spanish press suggest Vilanova is likely to leave the Camp Nou.
Tens of thousands of people are out on the streets of Barcelona protesting against the austerity cuts.
There are lots of families, students and union members. Plenty of firecrackers are going off but everything appears peaceful.