FC Barcelona Superstar Lionel Messi is set to appeal the verdict of the tax fraud case he is standing in Spain after the Court sentenced him to 21 months in Jail.

The very talented player faced trial for tax evasion which was a very strong issue in Spain. His father Jorge also stood trial for his role in the case. Both of them claimed they were not guilty but their defence was thrown out.

The Court sentenced both parties to 21 months in Jail, in addition to hefty fines. Messi was fined €2m but his dad was fined €1.5m. In Spain, when jail terms are less than two years old, those found guilty can be placed under probation. The fines were for using tax havens in Belize and Uruguay to conceal earnings from image rights.

Messi’s lawyers said the sentences were wrong and that they would pursue an appeal and that there is a good chance that the appeal would be successful. The appeal would be at the Spanish Supreme Court. Aside the appeal, both parties already made a voluntary "corrective payment" of €5m which is equal to the alleged unpaid tax plus interest. The superstar’s estimated earnings stands at €36m annually at Barcelona and he is believed to have a personal net worth of €315m, making him among the top 10 highest earning athletes based on a report from Forbes Magazine.

Barcelona declared their support for the player on their official website The club agreed with the government’s prosecution but adds that the player “is no way criminally responsible with regards to the facts underlined in this case.”

The club says it would continue to be at the disposal of Messi and his family as they take action to defend their interests. Many have condemned the level of action from the club that they did not do enough to protect their star player.