Superstar Messi pays $13 million tax bill but still faces prosecution

Messi scored an unprecedented 86 goals for club and country last year.

Story highlights

  • Lionel Messi has paid $13 million in taxes for period 2010-2011
  • Barcelona star still being prosecuted for alleged tax fraud between 2007-2009
  • Messi's lawyer refusing to take phone calls from journalists Tuesday
  • Football star could face final bill of $36.7 million

International soccer star Lionel Messi has paid €10 million ($13 million) in taxes to cover the tax period 2010-2011, prosecutors in Barcelona, Spain, told CNN Tuesday, but efforts to prosecute him for alleged tax fraud from 2007 to 2009 are still going ahead.

Messi's payment does not affect the existing investigation into the alleged tax fraud, said Jose Miguel Compan, a spokesman for the Barcelona prosecutor's office.

Messi's lawyer, Cristobal Martell, is not taking any calls from journalists, his office said Tuesday.

Read: Messi to appear in court

Compan said Messi's lawyers had not approached prosecutors about making a deal to settle the earlier tax claim.

Any deal would have to involve Messi admitting guilt, paying the amount he owes, and a fine of two to six times as much as the outstanding amount.

That could total €12 million ($15.7 million) to €28 million ($36.7 million).

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Messi and his father, who is also a target of the investigation, are due to appear in court on September 17.

The four-time world player of the year and his father Jorge Horacio Messi are suspected of defrauding Spanish tax authorities of more than $5 million between 2006 and 2009. They deny the charges.

Read: Messi under investigation

The 26-year-old is was listed as the 10th highest-paid athletes in the world by business magazine Forbes with earnings of $41 million.

Messi took to his Facebook website page to deny the charges earlier this month.

"We have just known through the media about the claim filed by the Spanish tax authorities," read the statement in Spanish and English.

"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 of clarifying this situation."