5 Biggest Controversies In Lionel Messi’s Career

5 Min Read
Leo Messi

This article will tell you about five of the biggest controversies in Lionel Messi’s career

Lionel Messi is one of the most successful football players of all time, but his career has not been without its controversies.

Messi’s career has been marked by several controversies, including tax evasion charges, retirement from the Argentina national team, and spitting incident.

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While Messi is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time, these controversies have raised questions about his character and his sportsmanship.

Nevertheless, Messi remains one of the most successful and popular football players in history. Here are the five biggest controversies in Lionel Messi’s career:

Tax Evasion Charges

In 2013, Lionel Messi was accused of evading taxes by the Spanish tax authorities. Messi and his father Jorge were alleged to have evaded 4.1 million euros in taxes, and they were charged with three counts of tax fraud.

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Messi denied the allegations, but he was eventually found guilty and sentenced to 21 months in prison. However, Messi did not serve any time in prison because Spanish law allows sentences of less than two years to be suspended for first-time offenders.

Playing without spectators is bad and terrible, said Messi
Lionel Messi

The case was a major controversy in Messi’s career, as it showed that he had not been paying his taxes properly. It also raised questions about the fairness of the tax system, as many high-earning athletes and celebrities have been accused of tax evasion in recent years.

Retirement from the Argentina National Team

In 2016, after losing the Copa America final to Chile, Lionel Messi announced his retirement from the Argentina national team. Messi had already lost three finals with the national team, and he was visibly upset after the loss to Chile. His retirement shocked the football world, and it led to a public outpouring of support for him.

Copa America 2021: Argentina and Chile share points, Messi equals Ronaldo's record
Lionel Messi

However, Messi later reversed his decision and returned to the national team. His retirement had been seen as a sign of his frustration with the team’s performance and the lack of support he had received from the Argentine Football Association.

Spitting Incident

In 2011, during a match against Real Madrid, Lionel Messi was caught on camera spitting at Madrid defender Marcelo. The incident was widely criticized, and Messi was accused of lacking sportsmanship.

Also Read: 5 times Leo Messi lost his temper

Messi later apologized for the incident, and he was not punished by the football authorities. However, the incident showed that even the best players can lose their temper on the field and make mistakes.

Argentina National Anthem Controversy

In 2016, during a World Cup qualifier against Chile, Lionel Messi was caught on camera appearing to insult the Chilean national anthem.

The Argentine was accused of making derogatory gestures towards the Chilean anthem, and the incident caused a diplomatic row between the two countries.

Messi denied the allegations, and he was not punished by the football authorities. However, the incident showed that Messi’s actions can have political and diplomatic consequences.

Barcelona Contract Dispute

In 2020, Lionel Messi announced that he wanted to leave Barcelona after 20 years with the club. Messi was unhappy with the direction of the club and the management, and he wanted to leave on a free transfer.

However, Barcelona insisted that Messi’s contract had a 700 million euro release clause, and they refused to let him leave for free.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

The dispute was a major controversy in Messi’s career, as it raised questions about his loyalty to the club and his relationship with the management.

In the end, Messi decided to stay at Barcelona for another year, but the dispute had caused significant damage to his relationship with the club.

By Shyam
Shyam Sharma who joined SPORTS BIG NEWS in 2021. Focuses on soccer – chiefly the Premier League, LaLiga, UEFA Champions League, Liga MX and MLS. On occasion, also covers American sports, general news and entertainment. Fascinated by the language of sport – particularly the under-appreciated art of translating cliché-speak.