Mascherano handed one-year jail term

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According to reports in the Spanish press, Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano has accepted a one-year jail sentence in his tax evasion case, although he is not expected to serve any prison time.

Last year the Argentina international admitted to defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of more than 1.5million euros by concealing earnings from his image rights by using companies that he owns abroad. A court filing last year confirmed that he had repaid the amount plus interest.

Mascherano appeared in court on Thursday and agreed to pay a fine of 815,000 euros as well as a one-year jail term. A judge will now decide whether the former Liverpool player will pay an increased fine or face jail time. Sentences under two years are usually not enforced in Spain.

Mascherano took to Twitter on Thursday to express his remorse over the situation.

“I’m a sporting professional, I don’t have a great understanding of taxes and law,” he wrote.

“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.”