It seems like the two-game suspension imposed on Javier Mascherano for getting a red card in his last game is the least of his problems.
The Argentine defender just pleaded guilty to two counts of tax evasion. Each count might carry a prison term of one to five years, but let’s be honest, that’s not happening. What will happen is that Masche will have to pay some hefty fines, interest included. This new scandal adds up to the already huge ones of Lionel Messi and Neymar, who have also had their mishaps with the Spanish IRS.
There’s a conspiracy theory floating around the web claiming that the Spanish central government is going after Barcelona and their players, because they associate the soccer team with the Catalonian independence movement.
Of course, there are also those who don’t buy the argument.
But whether the fiscal inquiries are politically motivated or not, it seems like a “el que busca, encuentra” sorta situation.
According to Marca, apparently El Jefecito didn’t report his Nike earnings to Spanish authorities, and used a Miami address to evade his tax obligations. He allegedly did the same for his image rights by filing with a Portuguese address.
Like Messi, Mascherano had to declare in front of a judge, but the whole thing will probably not make it to trial, as the Argentine will most likely settle with Hacienda (the Spanish IRS) before any further legal action is necessary.