Skip to main content

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

updated 10:32 AM EDT, Tue June 25, 2013
Messi scored an unprecedented 86 goals for club and country last year.
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

(CNN) -- 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.

Spotlight on Paulinho
Actor Rodrigo Santoro signs a poster for the film "Heleno", in which he plays the mercurial striker. A destructive personality, together with illness and drug problems prevented Heleno from becoming one of Brazil's greatest ever players. But he helped pave the way for some of the world's greatest soccer icons... Actor Rodrigo Santoro signs a poster for the film "Heleno", in which he plays the mercurial striker. A destructive personality, together with illness and drug problems prevented Heleno from becoming one of Brazil's greatest ever players. But he helped pave the way for some of the world's greatest soccer icons...
Heleno
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
Brazil\'s greatest footballers Brazil's greatest footballers
Turkey's football fans join protest

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

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."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
updated 11:04 AM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
updated 11:19 AM EDT, Fri May 30, 2014
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
updated 3:24 PM EDT, Mon May 19, 2014
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Tue May 13, 2014
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
updated 9:18 AM EDT, Fri May 9, 2014
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:03 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
updated 1:15 PM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
updated 5:31 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT