Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi has been sentenced to 21 months in prison after a court in Barcelona found him guilty of three counts of tax fraud, a statement from the court said on Wednesday.

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The court also sentenced the Argentine soccer player’s father, Jorge, to 21 months in prison for the same three crimes.

The sentences can be appealed through the Spanish supreme court, the statement said.

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However, under Spanish law a prison sentence under two years can be served under probation, meaning Messi and his father are unlikely to go to jail.

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The court ordered Messi to pay a fine of around two million euros (2.21 million dollars) and his father to pay 1.5 million euros for the crimes. (Reuters/NAN)

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