Messi’s brother escapes jail term over firearm
Lionel Messi’s brother has been sentenced for possessing an illegal firearm.
The Barcelona star’s sibling, Matias, received a two-and-a-half year prison sentence on Thursday but instead of going to jail, he will undertake community service. Lionel Messi’s brother has been sentenced for possessing an illegal firearm.
Argentine newspaper, La Capital, report that the decision was reached through a deal with investigating prosecutors.
The firearm was found late in 2017 inside a blood-stained boat, which Matias crashed in the Parana River.
The 35-year-old was initially held under preventive arrest and later released while he recovered from a fractured jaw and other injuries in the Santa Fe province of Argentina.
Matias’ lawyer originally argued that his client crashed the boat into a sandbank and denied that he owned the gun.
This isn’t the first time Matias has had brushes with the law for allegedly illegally carrying a firearm.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s brother, who has been linked with known criminals in the past, was held for 16 hours in a prison cell for in 2015 after officers found an unlicensed 22-caliber gun in his car.
He was also arrested in 2008 for allegedly having a loaded gun in his belt.
Matias is the middle brother in the Messi family, with Rodrigo aged 38 and Lionel aged 31. The trio also have a younger sister, 31, called Maria.
Matias and Rodrigo helped the Argentina international build up a huge passion for football by playing constantly together when they were younger.
Matias – alongside his mother, Celia María Cuccittini – helps manage the Barcelona forward’s charitable organisation, the Leo Messi Foundation.