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Messi, CR7 & Others Who Could Be Banned From Facing English Sides

A shock report recently emerged suggesting that Lionel Messi could be banned from entering England to play against Premier League sides in the UEFA Champions League, but the FC Barcelona superstar is not the only player who could be barred from facing English teams. In fact, his rival Cristiano Ronaldo is another.

Click through the gallery above to see some other football stars who could be banned from facing English sides in the UCL.

According to immigration lawyer Andrew Osbourne, players who have been convicted of a crime could be stopped from entering England if the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

"Anyone with a prison sentence of any sort, the starting point is you are not allowed in," he told The Athletic.

"This could provide disruption to Champions League squads and also whether they (UEFA) will play finals in England if players potentially may not be able to come in. Clubs will need to take steps."

Messi has been found guilty of tax fraud and received a 21-month suspended prison sentence, but he is not the only player to receive such punishment.

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Similarly, his longstanding rival Ronaldo has been charged with tax evasion, and was found guilty of defrauding Spanish tax authorities to the tune of €14.7 million (R245 million) during his time at Real Madrid, which could stop him from entry into England for UCL matches.

The Portugal captain had to pay €18.8 million (R313 million) in settlement, and agreed to a two-year suspended prison ruling.

Alexis Sanchez, who is currently on loan at Inter Milan from Manchester United, is another player who has been found guilty of tax fraud. He was charged for fraud worth €1 million (R17 million) during his time at FC Barcelona, and agreed to a 16-month suspended jail sentence.

All of the above are first-time offenders, and do not actually need to serve time in prison, as per Spanish law.

Read: Reports: Messi Could Be Banned From Playing Against English Clubs

Neymar, meanwhile, has also settled a tax fraud case in his native Brazil, but never received a prison sentence, which means he would be free to enter England even after a potential "Brexit".

Click through the gallery above to see more football superstars who could be banned from facing English sides, and let us know, in the comments section below, whether or not you think these players could get an exemption from the potential ruling!

 

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