Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano is sentenced to a year in prison over £1.2 million tax fraud, could avoid jail-time by paying 800,000 euro as fine.
The 31-year old Argentina international was admitted to two counts of fraud after failing to declare earnings in 2011 and 2012 worth €1.5m euros.
He has already repaid the whole amount including interest and a hefty fine.
On Thursday, he was asked to appear before the court in Catalonia to plead to avoid the jail-time in exchange of a further fine, which is expected to be granted.
According to the law in Spain, those who sentenced to less than two years in prison can normally avoid it by paying a fine, unless they are punished for violent crimes.
Following his appearance in court on Thursday, Mascherano tweeted a statement which read:
“I’m a professional sportsman, I don’t have huge knowledge of tax or legal matters. As such, I lean on the people who handle these technical and, for me, complex terms.
“Throughout my career I’ve been an honest and responsible person, respecting my team-mates, the clubs for whom I have played and the countries where I have chosen to live.
“This situation I’ve had to go through has given me greater experience, from which I move on stronger and relaxed as I knew things were back in order.
And through a statement released on Barcelona’s official website, Mascherano revealed that he is looking forward to take legal actions against those who has poorly advised him to land him in trouble.
“I reserve the possibility of taking action against those who made incorrect assessments and recommended things to me that were not correct.”