Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano has been sentenced to 12 months in jail for tax evasion.
However, the former West Ham and Liverpool man will not serve any time in prison, reports Spanish publication Sport. In Spain, individuals serving sentences of less than two years are not required to serve any time in jail, unless the offense has something to do with violent crime.
Mascherano was found guilty of two separate tax evasion offences which took place in 2011 and 2012. As a result, he was sentenced to jail for four months for the first offence and an additional eight months for the second, which makes it a total of 12 months.
Interestingly, he had managed to repay the full debt amounting to £1.15 million before he received his sentence.
Spanish radio station Cadena SER also reports that Mascherano had agreed to pay £500,000 as fine on top of the repaid debt but that did not prevent him from being sentenced. If he repeats the same offense next year, he will now have to serve a full jail term.
The Argentine played the entire game last Saturday when The Catalans drew 1-1 with their hosts Valencia. Suarez had opened the scoring for the Spanish giants but the lead was cancelled after a late equalizer from Santi Mina.