Messi Says He Considered Leaving Barcelona After Tax Problem

The Quint
Lionel Messi says he considered leaving Barcelona after being targeted by Spanish tax authorities in the early 2010s.

Lionel Messi says he considered leaving Barcelona after being targeted by Spanish tax authorities in the early 2010s.

Messi says in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC1 he felt he wasn't treated well in Spain and didn't want to stay in the country after being accused of not paying his taxes properly.

He says it was a very difficult situation for him and his family and hinted that if there was an official offer from another club at the time he might have left.

Messi's problems with the Spanish authorities started in the 2013-14 season and he eventually received a suspended 21-month jail sentence after being found guilty of defrauding tax authorities of 4.1 million euros (then $4.6 million). Several other players were later accused of wrongdoing by Spanish tax authorities, including former Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

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