Jul 17, 2013, 11:21 AM EDT
With the world at his feet, Lionel Messi has never acted like he has a care in the world
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.
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.
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.
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