Tag Archives: Lionel Messi

Jose Mourinho given jail sentence and massive fine for tax fraud in Spain

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Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has agreed to a one-year prison sentence in Spain for tax fraud while he was at Real Madrid.

However, Mourinho will not serve time behind bars – it will be exchanged for a fine of £160,160. In Spain, sentences of less than 2 years for first-time or non-violent offenders are rarely enforced.

Mourinho was accused of owing Spanish tax authorities €3.3 million, after he had created various business entities in the British Virgin Islands – a tax haven – and elsewhere to manage his image rights. The accusations date back to 2011/12, when he was manager of Real Madrid. As a result, money made from the deals was undeclared in his tax statements.

The Portuguese had agreed a deal with tax officials before the case came to court. His fine today will be added to a separate, earlier €2 million fine.

Mourinho is the latest in a string of high-profile football players and managers to have fallen foul of the Spanish tax authorities in recent years. Last month, Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo was given a suspended 23-month sentence and £16.6 million fine for offences relating to tax owing over image rights from 2010-14, while he was also at Real Madrid.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi was also given a 21-month jail sentence for tax fraud in 2017. Again, it was changed to a fine by the authorities.

Other stars are also under investigation for their tax affairs, including Xabi Alonso, who denies any wrongdoing.

Barcelona step up efforts to re-sign Neymar from Paris St-Germain

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Barcelona are pushing forward with their effort to re-sign Brazilian star Neymar from Paris St-Germain this summer, according to reports in Spain.

Neymar, 26, left Barca in the summer of 2017 for the French capital in a world record deal worth £198 million, partly because he wanted to emerge from Lionel Messi’s shadow and push his own Ballon d’Or claims.

However, there have been persistent rumours for the past year or so that Neymar is unhappy at PSG – despite performing well on the pitch – and wants a return to Spain. Real Madrid were thought to be interested, but they appear to have focused their attention on the Premier League duo of Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur instead.

Meanwhile, Barcelona have emerged as a potential destination, despite the controversial nature of his transfer, and they have been said to have made initial contact about a move.

Indeed, Messi has recently said he would welcome Neymar back to the club, and he apparently is still popular in the dressing room.

Back in November, Barca representative Andre Cury met with Neymar’s father and agent in London to discuss a potential move. Catalunya Radio has reported that Cury has met with Neymar and his team again, this time in Brazil during La Liga’s winter break. Super-agent Pini Zahavi – who helped organise Neymar’s move to PSG – and Alvaro Costa, the son of Barca’s player liaison officer Pepe Costa, were also said to be there.

Whether PSG will want to sell is another matter. They are still under investigation by UEFA for alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play regulations and, if found guilty, could have to sell one of Neymar or Kylian Mbappe to balance the books.

If a deal were to be done, PSG would want to at least recoup their £198 million outlay if not more, given that the player is approaching his peak years.

Paris St-Germain star Neymar is Real Madrid’s top summer target, report says

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Paris St-Germain striker Neymar is top of Real Madrid transfer target list for next summer – ahead of team-mate Kylian Mbappe according to reports in Spain.

Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that, while Madrid are keen on both strikers, Neymar will be the more gettable of the two, given Mbappe’s progress since he joined PSG.

Madrid are desperate to sign a marquee player having failed in the summer to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Juventus in a £99 million deal.

Mbappe has established himself as the top dog in Paris, following his starring role in the France team that lifted the World Cup in Russia last summer and his domestic form. Meanwhile Neymar’s star has fallen slightly, thanks to a period on the sidelines through injury and his perceived antics on the pitch. In addition, rumours over his unhappiness in the French capital have never gone away.

That said, both strikers have begun the season in top form – both have scored 13 goals in all competitions.

The tipping point for PSG could come if they are sanctioned by UEFA for breaking Financial Fair Play rules and could be forced into selling one of their prized assets.

Neymar joined PSG from Barcelona for a world record £198 million fee in summer 2016, with Mbappe joining as well – initially on loan from Monaco before a £166 million move the following summer.

While other clubs may be interested in Neymar, it is thought he wants a move back to Spain – and he would be the number one at Real. If he returned to Barcelona – perhaps unlikely, but not out of the question – he would likely be in Lionel Messi’s shadow.

Neymar would not come cheap – PSG would look to at least recoup their investment in a player who is just reaching the peak years of his career.

Cristiano Ronaldo scores landmark 400th league goal

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal for Juventus in their 1-1 draw against Genoa saw him become the first man to score 400 goals in Europe’s top 5 leagues.

Ronaldo netted his 5th Serie A goal for Juve, which adds to his 311 for Real Madrid and 84 for Manchester United. No other player has scored 400 goals playing in the top flight for any of the top 5 European leagues – Serie A, La Liga, Premier League, Bundesliga and Ligue Un.

His closest goal rival is – of course – Lionel Messi, who scored his 390th league goal for Barcelona against Sevilla yesterday.

Ronaldo has scored more than 400 League goals in his career – he netted 3 times for his first club, Sporting Lisbon in his home country Portugal. However, this isn’t considered one of the top Euro leagues.

In all, the record scorer for Portugal has 578 club goals in all competitions. He has also scored 85 international goals.

Yet another record – beating his great rival Messi in the process – in a phenomenal career. The way he is playing you wouldn’t bet against him reaching 500 goals before he hangs up his boots.

Only one man could possibly beat his record – that man Messi, who is two years his junior.

Lionel Messi could leave Barcelona for free in 2020 – but there’s a catch

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Barcelona legend Lionel Messi could leave the club on a free transfer in 2020, but he couldn’t join another ‘elite’ club, according to reports.

The Argentine striker is believed to have a clause in his contract that says he can leave the club in 2020, but only if he joins a club outside of the ‘big five’ leagues in Europe – La Liga, the Premier League, Serie A, Ligue Un and the Bundesliga.

Messi’s current deal at the Nou Camp runs until 2021, and the club are believed to want him to sign an extension to that for at least another season.

If reports of the clause are correct, then one possible destination could be a club in his homeland. Messi has spoken before of his desire to play for his boyhood side, Newell’s Old Boys, before he retires.

Another potential destination could be the MLS and Inter Miami – the new side that David Beckham is a co-owner of. It has previously been reported that Beckham would like Messi to be the club’s marquee player when the team makes its MLS debut in 2020.