Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia reported on Monday that Messi had made a €10 million payment, covering his image rights for 2010 and 2011. The paper suggested that Messi and his advisors are looking to reach an agreement on the €4.1 million sum, which covers 2007 to 2009, to avoid having to make any court appearances.
State prosecutor Raquel Amado alleges that from 2006 to 2009 Messi
“obtained significant revenue derived from the transfer to third parties of his image rights, income which should have been taxed.”
Messi, his father and his legal representatives have maintained that they were fully compliant in all tax affairs, with Jorge Messi pointing out that his son paid more than €10 million in taxes each year while complaining of cruel and false reporting of the events.
Messi is not the first athlete to be investigated in Spain for taxes. Last year former Portugal star Luis Figo was forced to pay €2.45 million in income tax pertaining to image rights from 1997 to 1999 while playing for Barcelona. In 2009, former top-ranked women’s player Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario had to pay millions in back taxes.