Argentina and Barcelona super star Lionel Messi has been directed to stand trial for a tax fraud charge by judge in Spain.
Messi and his father Jorge are accused of defrauding Spain of more than €4m (£3.1m; $5m). They deny any wrongdoing.
Lawyers acting on behalf of the tax authorities demanded 22-month jail sentences for both defendants. Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoided paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay in 2007-09.
“There are rational signs that the criminality was committed by both accused parties,” wrote the judge in a court filing, according to the AFP news agency. No date has been set for the trial of the 28-year-old footballer.