Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi and his father Jorge Horacio Messi were sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax evasion on Wednesday, BBC reported. A Spanish court in Barcelona also fined the football player €2 million (Rs 14.9 crore) for three tax crimes, while his father was fined €1.5 million (Rs 11.2 crore).

However, Messi and his father are unlikely to serve any time in prison since this was his first offence and, according to Spanish law, a sentence under two years can be served on probation. The sentences can also be appealed through the Supreme Court.

The current Fifa Ballon D'Or holder and his father defended themselves in June earlier against charges of tax fraud amounting to €4.1 million in the period between 2007 and 2009. However, Messi had then said that he did not have any idea of his finances and implicitly trusted his father. He has already made a €5 million (Rs 37.5 crore) “corrective payment”.