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Barcelona’s Lionel Messi remains “calm” despite tax investigation

Jul 17, 2013, 11:21 AM EDT

FC Barcelona Press Conference Getty Images

With the world at his feet, Lionel Messi has never acted like he has a care in the world

Even when the Spanish tax authorities are accusing him of massive fraud charges.

Messi spoke about the allegations of fraud and remains relaxed about the whole situation.

“I am very calm,” Rosario-born Messi, who has been resident in Barcelona since 2000 and gained Spanish citizenship in 2005, told a post-training news conference on Wednesday, his first since returning from holiday.

“I never take care of that stuff myself and neither does my father,” Messi added.”We have our lawyers and our wealth managers to take care of that and we trust them and they will sort this out. The truth is that I don’t have a clue about all this and that is why we have people taking care of it.”

Both Messi and his father were accused of defrauding the Spanish authorities last month, after the Argentine World Player of the Year and his father Jorge allegedly hid more than 4 million euros ($5.3 million) by filing false tax returns for the years 2006 to 2009.

(MORE: Lionel Messi investigate on accusations of tax evasion)

The prosecutor’s office for tax crimes in Catalonia said the sale of Messi’s image rights had been hidden via a complex web of shell companies in Uruguay, Belize, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

So, after all that, what’s our verdict on Messi? Guilty or just oblivious? I’m guessing the latter is true.

With the hours of training, club commitments and other media and sponsorship requirements, can you really see Messi sitting down in front of the TV with a pen and paper to figure out his taxes. Of course not. No top athlete does that.

But if Messi’s ‘people’ did think they could save millions by not paying the tax they owed and hiding it away in companies across the globe, the four-time World player of the year may have a lot to answer for.

(MORE: Messi ditches his own charity match early)

Even if he hasn’t willingly broken the law, people may have done so in his name. That’s a huge problem and not something he should be relaxed about. Right?

Could he follow other soccer players such as Joey Barton and Duncan Ferguson to prison? Surely not. Let’s calm down.

The courts will decide this one. But one thing is for certain, Messi will likely keep calm and carry on scoring.

  1. mvktr2 - Jul 17, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun.” – Mao Tse Tun

    All modern governments, even communist ones, proclaim to exist via the will of the people and by authority granted to it by the people. The question of governance and morality can be clarified with a brief thought exercise.

    Can an individual grant a right they do not possess? Ergo can I grant neighbor Adam use of neighbor Bill’s land? Obviously the answer is no as I do not possess such authority.

    Can I and a couple neighbors get together and grant neighbor Adam use of neighbor Bill’s land? No collectively we don’t possess such authority.

    Thus can I and 50 neighbors or 500 or 5000 or 5,000,000 neighbors get together and grant an authority which we do not individually possess? Of course not. This is the fallacy of government and taxation, aka theft.

    I hope Messi gets away with paying a lot less than he owes, such would be the moral outcome.

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