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Barcelona's Lionel Messi and father arrive at court

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.

Messi has arrived at court. Credit: Reuters
Messi's father has also arrived. Credit: Reuters

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Barcelona respond to claims Tito Vilanova will leave

Tito Vilanova coach (FC Barcelona) presents with Eric Abidal (FC Barcelona) La Liga Trophy.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova to have surgery tomorrow

Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova. Credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

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.

For more on this story visit ITV Sport.

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