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Lionel Messi says he almost left Barcelona due to tax fraud case linked to Belize

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Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019. 7:28 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: World renowned football player, Lionel Messi, says he nearly left Football Club (FC) Barcelona following a 2014 tax fraud case where he was allegedly using Belize and Uruguay as havens to defraud the Government of Spain of tax dollars.

Messi was found guilty of using companies in Belize and Uruguay to hide a total of €4.1 million between 2007 and 2009, that he obtained from image royalties.Following the verdict, he was sentenced to 21 months in prison and a €2m fine, but later had the prison sentence amended to another fine of €252,000 (£223,000/$288,000). He said that once the case had been brought, he had considered leaving FC Barcelona and had already spoken with several clubs about joining.

He ultimately decided to stay, but his future with FC Barcelona has the possibility of coming to an end soon, given a clause in his contract which gives him the option to leave at the end of this season.

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