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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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.