Lionel Messi was able to avoid a request by the Spanish State Agency for Tax Administration to force Messi and his father to post bail after Messi’s father made a payment of over 5 million euros ($6.6 million). The court ruled the payment was sufficient to satisfy the case’s legal requirements. Messi and his father are facing accusations of defrauding the Spanish government of income tax returns from 2007, 2008, and 2009.
The 25-year-old Lionel Messi is one of the highest paid athletes in the world, reportedly earning $41.3 million from June of last year to June of this year. As the biggest star in the most popular game in the world, it is easy to understand how Messi earns such an astronomical amount. Messi has had to work hard to win four straight world player of the year awards, but the fight against the tax administration might be his toughest battle yet.
Spain’s Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro has warned the professional athletes in Spain to make sure they are “comfortable” with their tax affairs, especially the “footballers.” The concerted effort to crack down on tax evasion stems from the weakness of Spain’s economy as the country attempts to put their finances back on track after the collapse of their real estate market.