Lionel Messi 'calm' over tax fraud claims

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Lionel Messi is 'calm' over allegations he defrauded Spanish tax authorities and is optimistic his legal team will be able to resolve the situation when the case reaches court in September.

The Barcelona superstar and his father are accused of filing false tax returns between the years of 2006 and 2009, which they deny, amounting to €4 million of unpaid taxes during that period.

Messi is alleged to have hidden the sale of his image rights via a variety of different accounts in Uruguay, Belize, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, and could face a maximum of six years in prison if found guilty of the defence.

The Argentina international has received court summons from the local prosecutor, and is due to appear in front of a judge on September 17 at a courthouse in Gava, the area of Barcelona where the 26-year-old lives.

Messi, however, is optimistic he can avoid any sanction from the courts, and says he still does not fully understand the accusations to have been made against him.

"I am very calm," Messi told a press conference. "I never take care of that stuff myself and neither does my father.

"We have our lawyers and our wealth managers to take care of that and we trust them and they will sort this out.

"The truth is that I don’t have a clue about all this and that is why we have people taking care of it."

Lionel Messi

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