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Rosell: Messi is innocent

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi. Photo: Reuters

Barcelona's Lionel Messi. Photo: Reuters

Barcelona's Lionel Messi. Photo: Reuters

BARCELONA president Sandro Rosell insists he is convinced of Lionel Messi's innocence following reports the Spanish tax authorities are investigating allegations he and his father defrauded the state of €4million.

Messi yesterday released a statement denying any wrongdoing after allegations the four-time reigning World Player of the Year and his father, Jorge Horacio, were suspected of filing fraudulent tax returns between 2007 and 2009.

Rosell told a press conference yesterday: "Messi's family is calm. They have all of our support. I do not doubt their innocence."

The 25-year-old Argentinian, currently on international duty in South America, revealed he was "surprised" by the news.

In a statement on his official Facebook page, he wrote: "We have just known through the media about the claim filed by the Spanish tax authorities. We are surprised about the news, because we have never committed any infringement.

"We have always fulfilled all our tax obligations, following the advice of our tax consultants, who will take care of clarifying this situation."


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