The entire world was thrown into shock and Lionel Messi and his father were handed a 21-month suspended prison sentence for tax fraud.
Ironically there are other professional footballers who have gone through Messi’s ordeal for tax related offences while playing in the Spanish La Liga.
The following are the six players with tax problems
1. Davor Suker: Despite having a glowing career at Real Madrid, the goal goal scoring machine for the Los Blancos was ordered to pay 258,592 euros after invading tax related to his image rights in 1998.
2. Romario: The Brazilian goal scoring legend was another player player punished for tax evasion between 1996 and 1997 as he coughed out 800,000 euros as fine.
3. Javier Mascherano: Messi’s teammate for both club and country was also caught by the long arm of the law after he was convicted for tax fraud and ordered to pay 815,000 euros in fines and return the evaded 1.5 million euros.
4. Luis Figo: During his playing time at Barcelona between 1997 and 1999, the National Court in Spain claimed 2.4 million against Figo and the appealing three years later, the former world player of the year was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
5. Samuel Eto’o: The former Cameroon striker was charged with embezzling 3.5 million euros in relation to his wages from the Catalan club and his image rights from sports brand Puma between 2006 and 2009.
Eto’o, during his time at FC Barcelona
6. Neymar: The jewel of Brazilian football has been taunted with tax issues since his playing days at Santos and sine he joined the Baulgrana in 2013 a court in Barcelona ordered him to pay 45 million euros.