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Barcelona's Lionel Messi to pay fine, avoid prison sentence for tax fraud

Lionel Messi spoke to ESPN about his future at Barcelona and a possible move to China.
Cristiano Ronaldo appears to troll Lionel Messi, USWNT stars show their support to a young player and more in The Sweeper.
Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta believes Lionel Messi is the best of all time and has more natural talent than Cristiano Ronaldo.
Lionel Messi ranks third on ESPN's World Fame 100 rankings, but which footballer tops the list?

Prosecutors in Spain say they are happy for Lionel Messi's 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud to be replaced with a fine, a spokeswoman confirmed on Friday.

They said they are not opposed to the Barcelona star being fined €400 per day -- a total fine of around €255,500 -- for the duration of the sentence, an option also put forward by the player's defence team.

Messi's father, whose sentence was reduced to 15 months upon appeal, could also see the original punishment exchanged for...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Diego Maradona calls Dani Alves 'an idiot' after Hand of God criticism

Diego Maradona scored the opening goal of the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal with his hand.

Argentina legend Diego Maradona has dismissed Dani Alves' criticism of him, describing the Juventus and Brazil right-back as "an idiot" and criticising his passing ability.

Alves told Brazilian TV channel "Canais Esporte Interativo" there could be no comparison between Lionel Messi and Maradona because of the latter's infamous "Hand of God" goal in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal against England.

"You want to compare Messi to Maradona? You can't compare them," Alves said.

"I would not be proud to...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

I wish Ronaldo were Argentine, but still prefer Lionel Messi - Diego Maradona

ESPN FC's Mark Ogden addresses the latest news on Cristiano Ronaldo and looks ahead to his upcoming press availability.
The FC panel debate the rumours of Cristiano Ronaldo requesting a move out of Spain, possibly back to Manchester United.

Diego Maradona says he wishes Cristiano Ronaldo were Argentine, but still prefers Lionel Messi to lead the Albiceleste.

Maradona famously led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title with decisive performances in the knockout stages of the competition.

Ronaldo, who was recently awarded his fourth Ballon d'Or, has won four Champions League titles -- equalling Messi's haul -- and led Portugal to their first major tournament crown in last summer's European Championship.

And while Maradona has praised...

 By Kenneth Tan

Singapore players 'should have waited' to swap shirts with Argentina

Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts break down the friendly between Singapore and Argentina, as the visitors won 6-0 at the National Stadium.

While he was pleased that his team never gave up, Singapore head coach V. Sundramoorthy wasn't happy that a couple of his players exchanged jerseys with Argentina rivals at half-time of Tuesday's friendly.

Singapore lost the match 6-0 at the National Stadium against the No. 2-ranked side in the world.

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Lions' duo Safuwan Baharudin and Zulfahmi Arifin were spotted swapping shirts with Angel Di Maria and Paulo Dybala before walking into the tunnel at the break.

"It should be done after the game,...