Spanish Supreme Court upholds Messi's 21 month sentence

However, Barcelona and Argentina star is unlikely to spend any time behind bars

Spanish Supreme Court upholds Messi's 21 month sentence

Picture by: Manu Fernandez / AP/Press Association Images

Lionel Messi's 21 month prison sentence has been confirmed by Spain's Supreme Court, but he is unlikely to serve time behind bars.

Barcelona's five time World Footballer of the Year and his father Jorge were last year found guilty of evading three and a half million pounds (€4.1 million) in tax on income from image rights.

Under Spanish law, prison sentences shorter than two years can be served under probation.

Jorge Messi did have his sentence reduced from 21 to 15 months by the Supreme Court.

On the pitch, Lionel Messi scored 37 La Liga goals in 34 games as Barcelona finished second to Real Madrid in the Spanish league, while he also netted 11 goals in nine Champions League outings last season.

Messi's Barcelona contract is due to expire in June 2018 and the club are currently engaged in a process to extend that contract.

Recently, Messi had a four match international ban overturned which will allow him to feature in Argentina's final 2018 World Cup qualifiers as the country looks to seal a place in Russia for next year's tournament.

Argentina are in a very tricky position in World Cup qualifying.

They sit fifth in the CONMEBOL super group, which would be enough to secure a place in the inter-confederation playoffs.