Messi to stand trial for tax fraud in Spain
Argentina and Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi and his father will stand trial on tax fraud charges, a court in Spain has said.
The judge in charge of the case rejected the request by prosecutors to drop the charges against the striker.
Messi and his father Jorge are accused of defrauding Spanish authorities of more than €4m (£3.1m; $5m).
Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoided paying tax on his son's earnings by using offshore companies in 2007-09.
The firms were registered in Belize and Uruguay.
Messi's lawyers had argued that the player had "never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing" the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported earlier.