Lionel Messi sentenced to 21 months in prison

The star and his father are not expected to spend time in jail

Messi, Argentina, Football, Barcelona, Football

Picture by: Manu Fernandez / AP/Press Association Images

Barcelona and Argentina striker Lionel Messi has been sentenced to 21 months in jail, along with his father Jorge.

The two men were found guilty of not paying over €4million in taxes between 2007 and 2009. The Barcelona star has also been fined €2million.

Both men were on trial last month at the start of June before the 29-year-old travelled to the United States to play for Argentina in the Copa America. He missed a penalty in Argentina's penalty shootout defeat to Chile and announced his retirement from international football after the game.

El Periodico broke the news on Wednesday morning about Messi's verdict. During the trial Messi claimed he "knew nothing" about his tax dealings and left his father to sort his financial issues, despite evidence of accounts in Belize and Uruguay.

 According to AS, both men are unlikely to spend any time in jail as they are first-time offenders and the sentence is only two-years long.

The verdict will come as a massive embarrassment to Messi, but he will be expected to return to playing for Barcelona in time for the new season. Despite the sentencing, his work is not expected to be affected.