Former Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano has been handed a one-year prison sentence for tax fraud.
Mascherano insisted he was “an honest” person despite pleading guilty to the fraud last year. He had previously agreed to repay £1.15million in evaded tax and a further £153,000 in interest.
The Barcelona and Argentina star, who was also fined approximately £611,000, is unlikely to spend any time in the jug with that expected to be cancelled out by a further fine.
Prison sentences in Spain that do not exceed 2 years can be suspended in exchange for a fine providing they are non-violent offences and the convicted person doesn’t have any previous convictions.
A statement issued by the player reads: “I’m a sporting professional, I don’t have a great understanding of tax and legal matters.
“Therefore, to deal with what are for me technical and complicated matters, I have to rely on other people.
“Throughout all my career I have been an honest person, responsible and respectful of my team-mates and the clubs that I have played for and the countries I have lived in.
“I reserve the possibility of action against those who have badly advised me by recommending something that was not right.”