BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Lionel Messi has offered to pay an additional fine of 500,000 euros ($558,000) to ensure he avoids a 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud that a judge is expected to suspend, a Spanish state prosecutor said Friday.
State prosecutor Isabel Lopez Riera told The Associated Press the fine-for-time deal was presented by Messi’s lawyers to the judge who will rule on whether to suspend Messi’s sentence – as is widely expected. Lopez Riera said she has told the judge that her office is not opposed to the deal.
Lopez Riera said Messi’s lawyers have made a similar offer for the Barcelona player’s father, Jorge Horacio Messi. He is offering to pay 360,000 euros ($402,000) to avoid his 15-month sentence for helping his son cheat on his taxes.
In Spain, prison sentences under 24 months for first-time offenders can be suspended by a judge.
The government attorney representing Spain’s Tax Office in the case will also be able to weigh in on the proposed deal. As state prosecutor, Lopez Riera is impartial in the case as a defender of the public interest.
Last year, a court in Barcelona found Messi and his father each guilty of three counts of defrauding tax authorities of 4.1 million euros ($4.6 million) from 2007-09. The unpaid taxes were from money made through endorsement deals, not Messi’s salary paid by Barcelona.
Messi was fined 2 million euros and his father 1.5 million euros. Both were originally sentenced to 21 months, but his father’s sentence was later reduced to 15 months.
In the last two weeks, Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo and former Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho have been accused by a Madrid-based state prosecutor of having defrauded Spain’s Tax Office of millions of euros (dollars) in unpaid taxes.
Both have denied wrongdoing.
Manchester City vs Manchester United player ratings out of 10
We’re entering new territory when it comes to grading anything that has to do with Manchester City, making Man City vs Manchester United player ratings a real hassle.
As bad as Manchester United was in going down five goals en route to a 6-3 loss at the Etihad Stadium, there’s something about the sheer style, grace, and systematic presence of Man City that demands a curve.
David De Gea allowed six goals and it’s a challenge to say he should’ve stopped more than one of them. Antony was United’s star and the fact that he’s done it against a system that challenges attackers makes you want to push him up a notch.
Mostly the Manchester City vs Manchester United player ratings beg you to consider if you’re watching the start of one of the very best seasons to ever be put onto the pitches of the Premier League.
Manchester City vs Manchester United player ratings
These are not going to be kind to the visitors.
Manchester City player ratings
Ederson: 6 — Yes, three goals conceded (one a penalty) but he’s so important to how Pep Guardiola wants to play as evidenced by his 78 touches and 88 percent passing rate.
Kyle Walker (Off 41′): 6 — Had little to do, relatively speaking, before leaving with a left leg injury.
Nathan Ake: 6 — Not a terrible day but you feel better when he’s on the left of the defense rather than central.
Manuel Akanji: 8.5 — Could City have added a better fit? Akanji passes supremely well and is brave when dangers comes his way.
Joao Cancelo: 7.5 — Seven recoveries in a different and perhaps just as important role than his usual marauding self.
Bernardo Silva: 8 — How old that another Silva has replaced David as City’s somehow underappreciated but clearly world class star?
Ilkay Gundogan (Off 75′): 7 — Sunday’s captain didn’t have to do too much.
Kevin De Bruyne (Off 75′): 8 — Two assists and three shots.
Jack Grealish (Off 75′): 8 — Oh boy was he a pest from moment No. 1. Terrific day for the former Villa star.
Erling Haaland: 10 — What looked like a near-perfect fit is turning out to be a perfect fit. What was anyone doubting, anyway: That a gigantic beast of a man didn’t know how to pass?
Phil Foden (Off 75′): 10 — A hat trick on six shots, four of which were on target. Twenty-one of 22 passes completed over 75 minutes. You could argue that Foden has the chance to be Pep Guardiola’s great development if the Catalan wizard didn’t help produce Messi.
Sergio Gomez (On 41′): 7 — An assist but a bit too rash with the ball. Still, reassuring to see a new player make such a difference.
Cole Palmer (On 75′): 6 — 20-year-old connected all six of his passes and created a good look to goal, but was out there for two conceded.
Riyad Mahrez (On 75′): — 6
Aymeric Laporte (On 75′): 5.5
Manchester United player ratings
David De Gea: 4 — His expected goals on target was under three, so there’s that, but it’s hard to fault the Spanish keeper for not depriving more than one of City’s six goals. Just two saves, however.
Tyrell Malacia (Off 46′): 4.5 — A halftime sacrifice on a yellow card, was far from the biggest culprit but not great.
Raphael Varane (Off 41′): 5 — Blocked a shot and connected on all of his passes. The extent of his injury could badly set United’s plans back.
Lisandro Martinez: 3.5 — A dreadful day for the physical center back
Diogo Dalot: 3 — Too many crosses found their way to the other side of the pitch. He was a part of both ends of that.
Scott McTominay (Off 59′): 5 — A busy, busy boy. That was likely due to Erik ten Hag’s choice to deploy Christian Eriksen next to him against the best possession team in the world. A goal line clearance, a blocked shot, an interception, and four tackles.
Christian Eriksen: 4 — Created chances and picked up an assist, but really wasn’t the right fit for what Ten Hag was attempting to do at the Etihad.
Antony: 7.5 — Quite good, scoring a beauty and showing fire over 90 minutes despite the lopsided score line.
Bruno Fernandes: 5.5 — The system was a big part of his struggles, and it will be as long as a Casemiro or Fred isn’t out there; For Bruno to be near his best, he needs the freedom that will open up holes in the midfield.
Jadon Sancho (Off 70′): 5 — Seven recoveries on just 37 touches. System didn’t play to his strengths.
Marcus Rashford (Off 59′): 5 — Twelve touches in almost an hour as the center forward in a 4-2-3-1. Can’t really put that on him, can you?
Victor Lindelof (On 41′): 45 — Actually performed extremely well with the ball. Compared to peers’ days… hard to gripe with the Swede.
Luke Shaw (On 46′): 4.5 — Suffice it to say he didn’t fix what ailed United from the first half.
Anthony Martial (On 59′): 7.5 — A difference-making sub (unfortunately the difference was a three-goal loss instead of a five-goal loss).
Casemiro (On 59′): 6 — If Erik ten Hag could back and start one player, we bet it would be Casemiro. His insertion wasn’t going to save the day but his start could’ve given them a platform to play forward with more confidence.
Fred (On 70′): 6.5 — Tidy and in-control, likely a good-enough showing to merit a longer look.
As expected under Marsch, Leeds have taken a high-volume approach to their tactics — lots of pressing and challenges, lots of counter-attacking and lots of scoring chances created. Their 1.57 expected goals (per 90 minutes) ranks 7th in the Premier League. Leeds haven’t played a game (in any competition) since Sept. 3, one day shy of a month come Sunday, due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the ensuing fixture postponements. Leading goal-scorer Rodrigo remains out with a shoulder injury, but the Spaniard could be back in the next week or two.
Goal-scoring has been a major issue thus far for Aston Villa, who have scored multiple goals in a game just once this season. Six different players have scored a goal, but no one has scored two. Unsurprisingly, Steven Gerrard’s side sits 19th in the PL for xG (0.76 per 90).
Erling Haaland and Phil Foden both recorded hat tricks as Manchester City built a five-goal lead before settling for a 6-3 blowout derby win over Manchester United on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium.
Haaland finished with three goals and two assists, while Kevin De Bruyne set up two of the big Norwegian’s goals. Haaland now has 14 goals through eight Premier League games, 18 off the league record for a 38-game season set by Mohamed Salah in 2017-18.
What we learned from Manchester City vs Manchester United
Erling Haaland’s goal record chase is real: Thirteen goals through eight games? Really?!? Erling Haaland is on fire, and every single Premier League defense should be terrified. We spent an entire season wondering what last season’s Man City would look like with a finisher at center forward and now we’ve found out that it is flat out ridiculous.
Erik ten Hag handcuffs his team: Look, hindsight is always going to be 20:20. We get that, but expecting to go toe-to-toe with City away by deploying Christian Eriksen and Scott McTominay at the heart of your midfield while leaving Fred and Casemiro on the bench was almost absurd. Eriksen’s defensive skills weren’t up for the task and left McTominay running around like a maniac. The ball barely found its way to the front four, which was United’s only hope of hanging with the hosts. Antony’s incredible goal is a cruel hint of what might’ve been for ETH’s young team.
Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne unfair: That’s the lesson. Unfair.
Can 2022-23 Manchester City supplant 2008-09 Barcelona as Pep’s masterpiece? It’s difficult to Imagine a season better than Barcelona’s league and Champions League double. Barcelona was stunned on Opening Day but did not lose again until February 21. It did not lose a meaningful European match nor trail after a leg of the knockout rounds. Of its five league losses, four came after building a 13-point table lead in mid-February. Even throwing in 105-goal, plus-70 goal differential La Liga figures somehow doesn’t change the thought that this City could better most of those marks. City is currently on pace for 133 goals and a nearly triple-digit goal diffrential, though it’s yet to have played Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea, or Arsenal. It’s also in second place (laughing emoji).
Phil Foden reaction
“It’s a dream come true, playing a derby as a City fan as well. Erling and I have built a connection, just finding each other.”
Erling Haaland reaction
“Not bad,” Haaland said on USA Network. “We scored six goals. What can you say? It’s amazing. To win at home and score six goals here, it’s nice.
“You can feel it all the time. You see the passes we give each other. We always want to go forward, to attack. In the end it’s amazing, there’s nothing more to say.”
Rodri’s absence for Man City threatened an opening for United but the midfield duo of Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen were left without a rudder by Erik ten Hag (See what we learned, above). That left City a lot of freedom if it stayed calm with the ball, which it characteristically did, and Raphael Varane’s exit meant the visitors were going to be in a whole lot of trouble.
Stars of the show
Kevin De Bruyne
Anthony Martial: Ask Erik ten Hag how happy he is that second-half sub Martial didn’t go through the motions and instead delivered a pair of goals to make the score line a little more palatable.
Antony: The two ‘Ants’ carried well more than their weight despite their team’s struggles.
Man City hosts Copenhagen on Wednesday in the Champions League before Southampton visits on Saturday.
Man United has a long trip to Cyprus for a scrap with Omonia in the Europa League on Thursday, then visits Everton on Sunday.
Phil Foden goal video: City strikes first with splendid team goal
City are off to a hot start in the Manchester Derby! 🔥 #MCFC
Despite a pair of disappointing draws (Newcastle and Aston Villa), it’s been an unbeaten start to the 2022-23 season for Man City, who still lead the PL in possession (66.4 percent per game) while also becoming an unstoppable offensive force from last season (14 goals in their first seven games) to this season (23). That’s not to say it’s been easy as Manchester City go through a tactical shift of their own to better appeal to the big Norwegian’s poaching abilities. Though they have been forced to grind out results a few times already this season, it’s highlighted a newfound spontaneity for a side that’s been as regimented as any in the world. Will that freedom be what ultimately lands Pep Guardiola his first Champions League trophy since 2011, and perhaps a third straight PL title (and a fifth in six years) to boot?
As for Manchester United, the Ten Hag era has been a wild roller-coaster ride already, short as it’s been. The back-to-back defeats were one thing, but the abject performances were the real cause for discontent. While picking up the four straight victories, the Dutchman has also settled on a midfield setup with Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen operating in (effectively) a double pivot with Bruno Fernandes the most advanced of the three. It has brought defensive stability, of course, but more importantly the change has revealed a deadly counter-attacking side. Each of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Fernandes have scored twice during the winning run, with new boy Antony also getting in on the fun on his debut. With space in behind (and the proper service from deep), Ten Hag might just have his first winning formula (albeit quite unlike him).
Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), John Stones (hamstring), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE)
🔵 Your City line-up for the derby! 🔵
XI | Ederson, Walker, Akanji, Ake, Cancelo, Gundogan (C), De Bruyne, Bernardo, Foden, Haaland, Grealish
Over 100 people are dead following a riot at a Liga1 match between Arema and Persebaya Surabaya in Indonesia.
Home side Arema lost 3-2 to Persebaya, its first home derby loss in over two decades. The intensity of the rivalry had already led to away fans being banned from attending the derby in Malang, East Java.
The death toll was initially reported as high as 174 but has been revised to 125.
Reports say the majority of the fans were trampled to death after police fired tear gas as some fans fired bottles and other items at players and officials.
Hooliganism is rife in football-obsessed Indonesia where fanaticism often ends in violence, highlighted by the 2018 death of a Persija Jakarta supporter who was killed by a mob of hardcore fans from rival club Persib Bandung.
More on this story as it develops.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino on a “dark day” for football with more than 170 killed in Indonesia stadium rioting.