Messi testifies in tax fraud case: “I was playing football, I knew nothing”

Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Lionel Messi testified in Spanish court on Thursday, saying he knew nothing about any tax fraud done in his name, and with his finances.

Messi was accused of defrauding Spain to the tune of nearly $5 million, and paid — along with his father — that back with interest in 2013.

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According to the BBC, Spain’s tax department wants big fines and jail time for the defrauding, as Messi’s father is accused of hiding money from image rights in Belize and Uruguay tax havens.

“I was playing football, I knew nothing,” he said.

Messi, 28, said he signed documents without reading them because he trusted his father and the advisers responsible for managing his finances.

“I only worried about playing football,” he told the judge.

A verdict will come next year at the earliest. If you believe Messi, then every footballer in the world needs to do a better job at reading documents or finding people to trust. If you don’t believe him, well, punishment may be coming.