|Barcelona's Lionel Messi (C) reacts at his arrival to the Gave court in the Gava locality, Barcelona, Spain, on Sept. 27, 2013. Messi, along with his father Jorge Horacio Messi, arrived to the courtroom to answer to charges of tax evasion. (Xinhua/AGENCIAPUNTOPRESS)|
FC Barcelona striker Leo Messi appeared in court on Friday to declare over allegations of tax evasion.
The striker appeared in court in Gava, which is a small town just to the south of Barcelona under charges of evading 4 million euros of tax corresponding to his image rights for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009 and spoke to the judge after his father, Jorge Messi, had also done so.
Messi did not make any declarations to the press, but his lawyer, Cristobal Martell, told reporters that the player had offered his full collaboration with the justice system and would continue to do so.
He added that Messi's father had repeated his assertion that Messi dedicated himself to playing football and had no role in financial issues.
"The declarations of the Messi family was totally transparent, clear and collaborated with the court," said Martell.
"With the same desire for transparency the questioning took place and we saw there was no will to commit fraud and an important willingness to regularize his situation with the treasury. There is no desire for a prolonged discussion with the State regarding the interpretation of the fiscal rules," he continued.
The player spend an hour and a half inside the count and hundreds of people, the majority of them Barcelona supporters gathered outside of the building to see the footballer arrive and later leave the building, with the vast majority of them shouting messages of support.