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29th Oct 2015

Former Liverpool player pleads guilty to £1.1m tax evasion in Spain

An expensive mistake

Kevin McGillicuddy

There is a prison team in Spain hoping for two high-profile additions in the near future.

We don’t know if it’s really true to say orange is the new black, but tax troubles certainly seems to be in vogue at Barcelona these days if reports this morning prove to be correct.

Javier Mascherano is the latest player to be in trouble with the Spanish equivalent of Revenue & Customs after failing to pay the proper amount of tax on earnings from image-rights deals.

According to AS the ex-Liverpool player appeared in court this morning after pleading guilty to tax evasion on income in 2011 and 2012.

The Argentine is believed to have under-declared his tax on earnings from a sponsorship deal with Nike, as well creating a holding company set up in Maderia to deal with his image rights which allowed him dodge paying large sums to the government.

The Barcelona man paid back the €1.5m (£1.1m) to the authorities in September which included the money he owed as well as interest and various penalties.

His guilty plea comes months after it was revealed Lionel Messi is due to stand trial over tax fraud on an alleged cash pile of £3m while a number of other high profile players, such as Iker Casillas, have also had tax problems in Spain.