Reports suggest that Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has essentially been cleared of any wrongdoing in his tax evasion trial.
La Pulga Atomica had been accused of ferreting away millions of euros worth of image rights money in secret off shore bank accounts, in cahoots with his father.
Both Messis have denied purposefully avoiding paying tax, blaming the hiding of the money on a former financial advisor.
Messi has also paid roughly €5 million in back taxes to cover any shortcomings, and has been cooperating with Spain’s tax authorities as the case progressed.
Now, reports in the Spanish media claim that the judge in the case has been advised by Spain’s ‘Hacienda’ tax authority that Messi’s explanation was plausible.
The judge has come to believe that Messi should not be held accountable for tax evasion, and he and his father are unlikely to face further prosecution or punishment.
The Argentine international can now continue to focus completely on his return to full match fitness, after a season thus far blighted by injury niggles.
He is expected to lead the line for the Blaugrana in the Catalan derby against Espanyol at the Camp Nou on Friday night.