Lionel Messi’s legal team from Juarez Veciana released a statement on the player’s tax fraud case soon after the charge was confirmed, stating their confidence in resolving the matter. Messi and his father were charged with alleged tax fraud of more than $5 million related to the sale of his image rights between 2006 and 2009. The pair now faces a court case on Sept. 17.
"1. We respect and abide by the ruling and we are at the disposal of the courts to help resolve this matter and establish the truth.
“2. We show our confidence in being able to clarify this difference of opinion and we regret that you want to question the reputation of our client who complies scrupulously with Spanish legislation.
“3. We declare that our client will pay the amounts finally determined, but we believe that our client has already paid what is legally required.
“4. We firmly believe in the innocence of our client.
“5. We ask that the work is left to the courts, in which we trust fully.
“6. We trust that the judicial investigation can be resolved in the shortest possible time to end our client’s state of media helplessness that we deeply regret.”
Messi’s father, Jorge, also maintained his and his son’s innocence in an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena Cope in which he targeted the media: “It bothers us that certain media have run a campaign of slander and generated expressions of hate,” Messi Sr said. “It is very cruel, but we know what do do when this is cleared up. We are very well and very clam because we have never failed to pay anything to the Hacienda. There is a difference of opinion between them and our tax advisors, which is normal because this is always the case with those who pay large amounts to the state.”