Girona, January 24: A lawsuit filed against Barcelona star Lionel Messi for allegedly breaking a contract agreement that sought to regularize his father's stay in Spain has been dismissed, the top regional court of Catalonia announced on Thursday. In 2004, Messi, who turned 17 that year, allegedly signed a contract in which he promised to pay a Spanish construction company a part of his yearly earnings in exchange for the construction company helping Messi's father, Jorge Messi of Argentina, reside in Spain.
The case against the 31-year-old forward, who chose not to attend the trial, was dismissed since Messi was a minor in 2004, reports Efe news. The required payment was two percent of Messi's revenues between the 2009 and 2013 seasons and was set to rise to three percent in 2019-20. The judge forced the unnamed real estate entrepreneur, who brought the case against the famed Argentina forward, to cover the legal expenses. Lionel Messi Becomes First Player to Score 400 Goals in La Liga, Barcelona Hails the Feat (Watch Video).
According to Spanish law, the verdict could be appealed at a court in the Catalan province of Girona within 20 days. In 2016, Lionel Messi and Jorge Messi were convicted of defrauding Spain of 4.1 million euros ($4.6 million) in taxes during the years 2007 and 2009. Cristiano Ronaldo Beats Lionel Messi; Wins Best Player of the Year at the 2019 Globe Soccer Awards for the Third Time! (See Pics and Video).
In July 2017, a 21-month prison sentence given to the five-time Ballon d'Or winner was substituted with a fine in which the Barcelona court imposed a penalty of 252,000 euros ($287,575) on Messi. The decision replaced each of the 630 days of imprisonment with 400 euros. Spain's Supreme Court upheld in May the 21-month prison sentence handed to Messi for three tax crimes, but reduced his father's sentence to 15 months in jail.