Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will stand trial over alleged tax evasion alongside father Jorge, according to reports in Spain.
The forward and his father have been accused of defrauding the Spanish authorities of €4.1million by benefiting from a complex network of companies set up to sell Messi’s image rights in a host of countries.
The alleged fraud is believed to have taken place between 2007 and 2009.
Prosecutors initially stated earlier this week that charges against the Barca star had been dropped.
The 28-year-old had appeared set to be spared a trial on the grounds that, because of his age, responsibility for any alleged wrongdoing would be placed on his father, who it was claimed had “control of his tax obligations”.
However, the Argentina icon will now be asked to appear in court, according to Spain’s national news agency, EFE.
Jorge Messi has previously denied any intention to defraud and has always sought to distance his son from any suggestions of wrongdoing, telling Spanish radio last year: “I have always said it, he had absolutely nothing to do with it, so there is no need to talk about it.”