Alexa I considered leaving Barcelona after tax charges: Messi

I considered leaving Barcelona after tax charges: Messi


Published: 21:00 9 October 2019  

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has revealed that he considered leaving Barcelona in 2016 when he faced tax fraud charges.

Argentina forward was convicted by a court in Barcelona of tax evasion, given a 21-month suspended prison sentence and fined £1.7 million in 2016.

Despite avoiding jail time, the situation left Messi upset, angry and looking for a way out of Spain.

Messi said in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC 1 on Monday that he felt he wasn’t treated well in Spain and didn’t want to stay in the country after being accused of not paying his taxes properly.

“I thought about leaving,” Messi said. “Not because I wanted to leave Barcelona, but because I wanted to leave Spain. I never had an official offer, because everyone knew that I wanted to be with Barcelona, but it was a situation that went beyond what I felt about the club.”

Messi was targeted by the tax authorities as part of a wider tax fraud investigation involving high-profile footballers. Messi’s La Liga colleagues Cristiano Ronaldo, Javier Mascherano, and Marcelo were also investigated.

- Dhrubo