Messi sentenced to 21-months prison for tax fraud

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The 29-year-old has also been given a $3 million fine for three counts of tax fraud. His father is believed to have been handed the same prison sentence and a smaller fine of close to $2.2 million.

Under Spanish law, neither Messi nor his father would be required to spend any time in prison if the sentence is shorter than two years, instead they can serve the time as probation.

Messi and his father were accused of defrauding Spanish authorities by failing to pay $6 million in tax on image rights in 2007, 2008 and 2009. They have the right to appeal the sentence. 

The sentence caps off a month to forget to Messi who announced his retirement from international football after a second straight Copa America final defeat against Chile on 27 June.