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Messi family on the defence

Argentine star Lionel Messi and his family have strongly rejected reports claiming the Barcelona forward will have to fork out €41 million  to be up to date with tax payments.

Messi was investigated for tax evasion towards the end of last year, and paid €5 million (R73 million) to cover all money due of the period of investigation, yet is still awaiting a final decision by the Spanish court on all monies owed.

Yet latest reports in Spain state that the 26-year-old still owes money to the Spanish Inland Revenue (Ministerio de Hacienda) amounting to over 40 million euros.

According to Barcelona newspaper 'La Vanguardia', "This huge figure includes the €10m back-payment submitted last year…, the potential fine that a court could impose on him… and the €25m (€20m net) that has been set by the Hacienda for tax years which had not been part of the scope of the inspection."

However, the Messi family has furiously rejected such claims made by the newspaper.

A source close to Messi’s management team told Spanish publication Marca, “[It is] false. What they have published is not right.

“There has been no new development or new payment. We are awaiting the ruling of the judge and until then we will not comment.

“But what we want to make clear is that the figures that have appeared in this story are incorrect and not in line with the real ones.”