Lionel Messi may have just been named the most valuable player at the World Cup in Brazil but that is unlikely to soften the blow of having to pay Spain's largest tax bill — a whopping €53 million ($71 million)On top of that €53 million, the FC Barcelona star could also have to pay an extra €3 million on undeclared advertising and sponsorship earnings for the years 2007 to 2009.
The huge sum paid by Lionel Messi this year covers taxes on his salary, as well as on his assets and advertising deals. It also includes €22.4 million in outstanding tax for 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Over the past seven years, the Argentina captain has paid more than €100 million to Spain's tax office, Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia reported.
This amount has increased proportionally to the player’s income.
According to the business magazine Forbes, Lionel Messi earns more than €48 million a year from salary and sponsorship, making him the fourth highest-earning athlete in the world.
He’s also the highest-paid football player with a €20 million annual salary, ahead of Real Madrid’s player Cristiano Ronaldo.
Last year, Lionel Messi and his father were accused of defrauding the Spanish tax office of over €5 million ($7 million) but cleared the tax debt before a court appearance.