The Barcelona and Argentinean playmaker and one of the greatest players to step into the field, Leo Messi has been in the news for the past couple of weeks. First, he announced his retirement after coming close to winning the ultimate accolade for his home country. Sadly, Argentina lost to Chile in the Copa America final. Messi was very disappointed and announced his retirement, which resulted in a huge backlash in the form of criticism from his fans around the world. The good news, however, is that the decision by the legend has been reverted and his fans will see him back in action in international matches soon.
However, there is another reason for Messi being featured in headlines across the globe. Immediately after he took his retirement decision back, a court sentenced him to 21 months for tax evasion. Yes you heard that right – Leo Messi was handed a 21-month sentence for tax-evasion. The trail recently concluded in Barcelona and the verdict is expected to come very soon but one thing is obvious that he is guilty and will be sentenced to at least 21-months. He is not the only one to bare the punishment as his father is also involved in it. Sad news for all the fans around the world but the question regarding his future and the uncertainties about his club career are our talking points.
Well, let’s make this very clear that despite the 21-month sentence verdict, neither Messi nor his Father will go to jail as per law. Furthermore, the public prosecutor, Raquel Amedo also made it clear that "Messi should be acquitted”. In her closing argument she said that "The fraud occurred because of a decision of his father. There is no evidence that Messi was aware of it.”
Let us make it absolutely clear that he is not in trouble really as he can avoid that sentence by paying the fine. Furthermore, his club Barcelona also came calling showing complete support for their main man. TADA– the fans will see him playing on the field and can cheer for him as they used to do.
Neither Messi nor his fans have to worry as the tax-fraud scandal will not disrupt his career but the same cannot be said for his image – it will show some cracks. Messi is considered as the finest talent ever born and is regarded as the greatest football player in the current scenario along with Cristiano Ronaldo. According to Messi, he knew nothing about his finances, which we can believe because he is so busy with his football and his father looks after all the details. But the tax-fraud is associated with Messi as he is the one liable to pay taxes. So who should be blamed? Well, let the court decide that and wait for the final verdict.
However, this scandal may hurt his image and fans may shift their opinions about him. Oh, one more thing, Cristiano Ronaldo may capitalize on this and run away with the Ballon d’or as he also won the Champions League last season and the UEFA Euro Cup 2016. And, the decision to revert his retirement 3 days before this scandal seems to be a publicity stunt to gain public sponsorship. Anyway, all these are analyses but the reality is that Messi has committed a crime and must face the consequences.
For now, let’s just wait for the final and clear verdict from the court. Share your opinions on this with us and stayed tuned for further updates.