Messi in court facing tax fraud charges

In a recent interview, Lionel Messi assured his Spanish fans that he would be ending his career with no other club than FC Barcelona. Right from the start of his career as a professional footballer, the Argentine wonder had always been a one-club man. However, he claimed to have had thoughts of leaving Spain and Barcelona a few years ago, after he was charged with tax fraud.

Messi and his father, Jorge, were held guilty for committing a tax fraud worth 4.1 million euros between 2007 and 2009. Later, the father-son duo had to pay a 10 million Euro fine. The footballer was also handed with a 21-month suspended prison sentence.

The tax issues came to light in 2013-14, and the Argentine claims that it was a difficult period for him as well as his family. It was then that the Barcelona forward considered a transfer out of his beloved club.

According to First Post, Messi said, "My children were young and we had a very bad time. At that time, I had it in mind to leave, not because I wanted to leave Barca but because I wanted to leave Spain. I felt mistreated and I didn't want to be here anymore."

The entire football world has been speculating about Lionel Messi's possible departure from Barcelona. Pundits figured out a flaw in Messi's contract with the club, which means that he can leave Camp Nou at the end of any season should he wish. What does the man of the hour himself have to say? As of now, Messi is planning to finish his football career with the Blaugrana.

Lionel Messi
Messi's will take his stay at Barcelona into a 17th year if he stays until 2021. Getty Images

Messi is 32 years old and his current contract ends in 2021. According to the footballer himself, an extension of his contract with Barca is set to happen soon. The Argentine claimed that he doesn't want to disrupt his life by leaving Barcelona. Although Messi is open to the idea that anything can happen in the future, he assured fans that leaving his present club is not in the cards.

After spending months on the bench because of injuries, Messi is finally back in the football pitch this season. Last Sunday, he scored his first goal of the season from a marvellous free kick against Sevilla FC. Messi claimed that his legs hurt during the Sevilla game but he seemed optimistic that he will return to full strength soon.