Lionel Messi has failed in his appeal against a 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud.
The Barcelona star was sentenced last July but chose to appeal the decision, along with his father Jorge who was given the same punishment.
Jorge today had his sentence reduced to 15 months.
It is unlikely Lionel Messi or his father will serve a stretch behind bars, however. Under Spanish law, a prison sentence under two years can be served under probation if you have no prior criminal record.
The court also previously ordered Lionel Messi to pay a fine of around €2million (£1.7m) and his father to pay €1.5m (£1.3m).
Messi and his father were both found guilty by a court in Barcelona of defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of €4.1million (£3.5m) in the period between 2007 and 2009 by not paying tax on image rights earnings.
Following the original court case, Barcelona released a short statement in support of Messi.
“FC Barcelona gives all its support to Leo Messi and his father with relation to the sentence for tax evasion handed out by the Provincial Court in Barcelona.
“The club, in agreement with the government prosecution service, considers that the player, who has corrected his position with the Spanish Tax Office, is in no way criminally responsible with regards to the facts underlined in this case.
“FC Barcelona continues to be at the disposal of Leo Messi and his family to support him in whatever action he decides to take in defence of his honesty and his legal interests. ”
Messi’s teammate Javier Mascherano was similarly handed a jail sentence over a tax offence last year but did not ever set foot in a prison.