Lionel Messi has been handed a 21 month prison sentence for tax fraud.
His father, Jorge Messi, has also been given a jail term for failing to pay €4.1m in tax between 2007 and 2009.
However, neither are likely to serve any time behind bars, due to Spanish prison system.
Custodial sentences under 24 months – which to you and I is two years – can be served under probation, meaning Messi is likely to continue his career as normal.
In reality, following the suspended sentence handed to Javier Mascherano, Messi was never going to face jail, and the forward knew that.
Several players from La Liga have all faced trouble with the authorities over their dubious attempts to pay taxes, with Real Madrid stars even being accused of having a deal with the Spanish government to avoid the high profile trouble Messi has gone through.
After a terrible summer following the Copa America final, at least Messi can rest assured in the knowledge he’s as good at evading jail as he is defenders.
FC Barcelona press release in support of Leo Messi and his father https://t.co/wj0im9rDAw
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 6, 2016Advertisement
Barcelona meanwhile have released a statement supporting the player and his father – shocking, I know – and have made it clear he has their full backing.
It really pays to be the best player in the world, doesn’t it.