Barcelona have launched a social media campaign to support Lionel Messi after the 29-year-old was handed a 21-month jail sentence by a Spanish court for being found guilty of fiscal fraud.
The Argentinian and his father Jorge were both given the same prison sentence for the offence, with the prolific attacker fined €2million for three counts of tax fraud and his dad hit with a €1.7m charge.
Both men have always denied any wrongdoing and Messi’s representatives confirmed on Wednesday that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will fight his conviction at the Supreme Court.
Barcelona are determined to show their star man they are 100 per cent behind him and have now called on their fans to show their support, too.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 9, 2016
“Barcelona have set up a campaign in support of Leo Messi following the sentence issued this week against the Argentinian and his father,” a statement from the Catalans reads.
“Using the hashtag #WeAreAllLeoMessi while posting a photo or message with both hands open, the campaign is encouraging all Barca fans to express their sympathy for the greatest footballer in the world by voicing their unconditional support on social networks.
“By making it clear that #WeAreAllMessi, we want Leo to know that he is not alone. All members, supporters clubs, fans, athletes, media and everyone else are invited to participate.”
Neither Messi nor his father is likely to spend any time in prison as any sentence of less than two years – for non-violent offences – can be served under probation according to Spanish law.