Javier Mascherano has been sentenced to a year in prison after a verdict was reached in his tax evasion case.
The Argentine has been fined €815,000 and handed a year’s sentence for two counts of fiscal crimes committed in 2011 and 2012.
However, the court is expected to grant the wish of Mascherano and his lawyer, David Aineto, in suspending the custodial sentence in exchange for a further fine.
The Barcelona star said in a statement released on Thursday:
Today I have reached an agreement with the Spanish tax authorities, with a firm verdict agreed by all parties. Thus, with a resolution now for the legal matters and with the relief of having sorted my tax situation, I would like to make a brief statement.
After agreeing my move to Barcelona I contracted a specialist tax agency with well-known professionals that enjoy a great reputation.
According to my situation they recommended me certain structures, all within the law, telling me that they were normal, transparent and accepted procedures.
I was assessed by these professionals from 2010 to 2014 I decided to change agency because of the proceedings I was facing, and with evidence that the problems may not be ‘potential’ but in fact very real.
My new agency recommended that I pay the tax authorities the money they were claiming, presenting also a corrective payment.
Now, finally, after a long wait this agreement has arrived which allows me to relax again and go about my daily life.
I’m a professional sportsman and I don’t know a lot about legal and financial matters.
Therefore I must rely on the people that manage these technical, and for me, complicated, issues.
All my career I have been an honest and responsible person…
I will take this experience that has accosted me as another experience which I will leave stronger and calmed by the fact that I am once again within the law.
Lionel Messi last night won the Best Player of the Year award at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai.
The Argentina and Barcelona forward, scored 58 goals as Barcelona enjoyed a memorable treble-winning campaign last season winning the Copa del rey, Champions league and La liga title.
‘It’s very nice to receive these awards, but I always say that the team makes it possible,’ said Messi.
‘It’s been an extraordinary year.’
The Award winners in full;
GLOBE SOCCER AWARDS IN DUBAI WINNERS 2015
Best Player of the Year 2015 – Lionel Messi
Best Club 2015 – Barcelona
Best President 2015 – Josep Maria Bartomeu
Best Media Attraction in Football – Barcelona
Player Career Award- Frank Lampard
Player Career Award – Andrea Pirlo
Best Agent 2015 – Jorge Mendes
Best Coach 2015 – Marc Wilmots
Best Academy 2015 – Benfica
Best GCC Player 2015 – Yasir Al-Shahrani
Best Referee 2015 – Ravshan Irmatov
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo has been drawn alongside Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Neymar for the Balloon d’or award.
Messi who has won the award for a record four times is seen as the favourite after helping Barcelona win the Champions League, LA Liga and Copa del rey titles last season.
Also, the coach of the year award will be contested between Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola, Barcelona’s Luis Enrique and Jorge Sampaoli who led Chile to their first ever Copa America success.
See the full nominee list after the cut;
FIFA MEN’S WORLD PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
FIFA MEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR
Pep Guardiola (Bayern Munich)
Luis Enrique (Barcelona)
Jorge Sampaoli (Chile)
FIFA WOMEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR
Jill Ellis (US)
Mark Sampson (England)
Norio Sasak (Japan)
FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Carli Lloyd (US)
Aya Miyama (Japan)
Celia Sasic (Germany)
FIFA PUSKAS AWARD
21 people, 15 men and 6 women, tall Nigerians, were arrested in the early morning operation for forcing Nigerian women into prostitution after Catalan regional police launched a large-scale raid against human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women in Barcelona, Spain.
The Central Unit against Human Trafficking disclosed that the suspects are part of a criminal organisation, known as “Supreme Eiye Confraternity”, that has forced more than one hundred women into prostitution since the beginning of 2014.
Investigators believe the group may have exploited dozens of women, many of whom were charged large sum of money to be brought to Spain from Africa with the promise of a job and a better life.
Officers are also searching 20 properties in Barcelona, Terrassa, Sabadell and several other Catalan towns and cities.
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo while speaking ahead of the release of his personal film “Ronaldo”, talked about his comparison with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi;
“I have my style, he has his style, his own style,” he said of Messi, his greatest rival. “We have to respect that people compare all the time. And it is normal, we are compared since we are babies, I don´t mean me and Messi but all the persons in school. Who is more clever, who is more fast, it´s normal, it´s part of the life.
“It does not surprise me any more but some times it makes me tired because it´s always same thing and they still repeat and repeat, one year, another year, every year.”
Asked why people may dislike him, Ronaldo said:
“Maybe the way I am, my personality, the way I see football. I´m not a fake person. It´s normal, it´s part of the business. No one can control that,”
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