Skip to main content

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

June 25, 2013 -- Updated 1432 GMT (2232 HKT)
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
CNN Football Club
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
The 1989 Hillsborough stadium tragedy, which claimed 96 lives, brought the red and the blue halves of Liverpool together.
CNN's Don Riddell says the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy has caused irreparable damage to the families of the 96 victims and the survivors.
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
The Champions league trophy stands on show during the draw for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions league at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon on March 21, 2014. AFP PHOTO/FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Two European heavyweights will collide in the Champions League semifinals after Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were drawn together in Switzerland.
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
West Bromwich Albion's French striker Nicolas Anelka looks on during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, central England, on January 1, 2014.
England prides itself on being the home of football, but is the nation dysfunctional in dealing with racist abuse?
March 18, 2014 -- Updated 1339 GMT (2139 HKT)
In a city where football is a religion, Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge is fast becoming a deity.
French former football player Zinedine Zidane reacts during the gala football 'Match Against Poverty' organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on March 4, 2014 in Bern.
Some of the biggest names in football lined up for a charity match, but CNN's Tom McGowan wonders if they can help beat poverty.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
"Everyone is scared about war -- they are very nervous," former Ukraine football star Oleg Luzhny says of the rising tensions with Russia.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 1807 GMT (0207 HKT)
Bayern Munich's present success rests on one key decision, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells CNN.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
Neymar
"More than a Club." It is an image Barcelona has carefully cultivated, but could the controversial deal to sign Neymar sour that view?
February 1, 2014 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
Affectionately known as "the wise man of Hortaleza," Luis Aragones -- who died aged 75 -- left the legacy of helping Spain's ascension to the top.
January 23, 2014 -- Updated 2118 GMT (0518 HKT)
Real Madrid hasn't won the European Champions League in over a decade, but the Spanish club is invincible in one field -- making money.
The naming of the world's best footballer is not all that it seems, says CNN's James Masters.
ADVERTISEMENT