I Know Nothing But Football – Messi Tells Court

Lionel Messi insisted he had no knowledge of any attempts to avoid over €4million in tax as he gave evidence in his and his father’s trial over tax evasion.

Both Leo, 28, and his father, Jorge Horacio, declined to take questions from the state prosecutors but gave testimony in the court in Barcelona.

And the Argentina skipper, who is due in San Francisco for his nation’s Copa America opener in just four days, stuck largely to the same defence that he had employed in his 2013 witness declaration as he spoke for around 12 minutes.

Lionel Messi seated in court as he's charged with tax evasion
Lionel Messi seated in court as he’s charged with tax evasion

“I didn’t know anything, all I know about is playing football and winning. I left it all to my Dad,” he said, wearing a dark suit and tie.

“I only knew that sponsors would pay X amount of money, that I had to do adverts, photos and things like that.

“I never read anything… I would sign where [the lawyers] said.

“I signed [the adidas contract] when I was 18, I was in another world.”

Messi consults with his lawyer as the court sitting went on
Messi consults with his lawyer as the court sitting went on

The FC Barcelona star and his father Jorge stand accused of defrauding Spain of over €4million in taxes by using offshore companies in Uruguay and Belize to conceal image rights earnings in the period 2007-2009.

Tax authorities are asking that both serve nearly two years in jail for the offence, but the public prosecutor is only pursuing Messi Sr.

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