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Messi’s tax fraud trial opens on Tuesday in his
absence in Spain.
Messi and his father Jorge, who manages his
financial affairs, are accused of defrauding Spain
of more than €4m (£3m; $4.5m) between 2007
The authorities allege that the two used tax
havens in Belize and Uruguay to conceal earnings
from image rights.
The Spanish tax agency is demanding heavy fines
and prison sentences. They deny any wrongdoing.
The trial is expected to last for three days, with
Messi appearing in court on Thursday.
The income related to Messi’s image rights,
including contracts with Banco Sabadell, Danone,
Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Procter and Gamble, and the
Kuwait Food Company.