BARCELONA footballer Lionel Messi has denied wrongdoing as the Argentine faces legal action for £3.4 million in unpaid income tax in Spain.
• Barcelona forward Lionel Messi faces legal action along with his father over £3.4 million of unpaid income tax
• Duo are accused of three offences stretching between 2007 and 2009
• Argentina international denies wrongdoing, insisting he only found out about the claim via media reports
The State prosecutor also took action against the Barcelona star’s father, Jorge Horacio Messi.
Both are accused of three offences against the public purse for allegedly defrauding millions on income tax returns for 2007, 2008 and 2009.
The complaint, signed by prosecutor Raquel Amado, was submitted for trial at the court in Gava, the upmarket Barcelona suburb where the Argentina forward lives.
A judge must accept the prosecutor’s lawsuit before charges can be brought against Messi and his father.
In a statement released on his official Facebook page, the 25-year-old said: “We have just known through the media about the claim filed by the Spanish tax authorities.
“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.”
Barcelona declined to comment on the news.
Messi arrived at the Nou Camp as a 13-year-old in 2000, made his first-team debut three years later and has gone on to establish himself as one of football’s best ever players.
He has won six Primera Division titles, three Champions League crowns and two FIFA Club World Cups with the Catalan giants, and in 2012 netted a record 86 goals for club and country.
Messi is currently on international duty in South America.