Lionel Messis lawyers have tried to show the Argentinian footballer was not familiar with the tax issues that led to fraud charges against him at his trial in Barcelona. Chris Paul Jersey . Witnesses called to give evidence on the second day of his trial said the Barcelona forward had little knowledge of the corporate structures that authorities say were created to lower the players tax burden in Spain.They said that, although Messi signed documents, it was his father who was actually responsible for the players businesses off the field.Messi and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, have been charged with three counts of tax fraud and could be sentenced to nearly two years in prison if found guilty of defrauding Spains tax office of £3.1m.The trial started on Tuesday with Messi and his father Jorge Horacio Messi, who have both denied the allegations, not obliged to attend the court every day, but they will have to testify on Thursday.The intention of Mr. Lionel was to attend the plenary hearing, but he has suffered an injury, said Messis lawyer, Javier Sanchez-Vera, who presented a medical report.The Barcelona forward hurt his back during Argentinas international friendly against Honduras last Friday and when asked by the judge whether Messi would attend Thursdays hearing, the lawyer said he would.The court appearance comes just days before he joins his Argentina team-mates for the Copa America in the United States. Messi in action for Argentina Messi and his father are accused of using a chain of fake companies in Belize and Uruguay to avoid paying taxes on £3.2m of Messis income earned through the sale of his image rights from 2007 to 2009.The two have already paid £3.8m to the tax authorities as a corrective measure after they were formally charged in June 2013.They are charged with three counts of tax fraud. Spanish prosecutors are seeking a jail sentence of 22-and-a half months for Messi and his father if they are found guilty, plus fines equivalent to the amount that was allegedly defrauded.But any such sentence would likely be suspended as is common in Spain for first offences carrying a sentence of less than two years. Messi is not obliged to attend the court every day but will testify on Thursday Under Spanish law, a defendant is not obliged to attend the full trial if prosecutors seek a jail sentence of less than two years, which means Messi is only likely to attend on Thursday for his testimony.The football star and his defence team have argued that the players father handled his finances without reporting to him, and that the striker was not aware of any wrongdoing. My dad handled the cash, Messi said in September 2013 when he was questioned by a judge investigating the case at a court in Gava, a town on the outskirts of Barcelona where the footballer lives.The players father agreed. He has nothing to do [with these issues], he only plays football, Jorge Horacio Messi said.The income related to Messis image rights that was allegedly hidden includes endorsement deals with Banco Sabadell, Danone, Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Procter & Gamble and the Kuwait Food Company. Also See: Where does Messi rank? Messi player profile La Liga video Guillem Balague Blake Griffin Jersey .com) - Former foes from the Mountain West Conference battle in the 23rd annual Las Vegas Bowl, as the 23rd-ranked Utah Utes clash with the Colorado State Rams at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday. Los Angeles Clippers Jerseys . -- San Francisco 49ers offensive co-ordinator Greg Roman is a finalist to replace Joe Paterno at Penn State, his agent said Monday. http://www.clippersnbateamshop.com/brice-johnson-clippers-jersey/ . -- Jose Bautista never worries about hitting homers during the regular season.(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of teams with division titles on the brain square off Sunday at the Georgia Dome, where the Pittsburgh Steelers will take on the hosting Atlanta Falcons. The Steelers are 8-5 this season, right behind the 8-4-1 Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North standings. The Steelers have won two of three games and improved to 5-2 in the past seven games with Sundays 42-21 win over the Bengals. LeVeon Bell ran for 185 yards and two scores on 26 carries and has recorded 95 yards or more in each of the past three games, averaging 161.3 ypg in that time. Bell is second in the NFL with 1,231 rushing yards and third with 94.7 yards per game. Bell totaled 235 yards from scrimmage to join Walter Payton (1977) as only the second player in NFL history to tally 200 yards from scrimmage in three consecutive games. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions to keep Pittsburgh alive in the division title hunt. Antonio Brown (117 yards) and Martavis Bryant (109 yards) both eclipsed the 100-yard mark against Cincinnati, and helped the Steelers amass 543 yards. The Steelers have scored 30 or more points in seven games in 2014, tying a franchise record for the most such games in a season. We just know that it is one game at a time, said Roethlisberger. We (know) every week is kind of a playoff week for us. Were going to give it everything we have every week. Pittsburgh will close the regular season with two games at home versus Kansas City and a rematch with Cincinnati. The Falcons are even with New Orleans atop the mediocre NFC South standings with similar 5-8 records. The Falcons had won three of four games until Monday nights 43-37 loss in Green Bay. Atlanta rallied for 20 fourth-quarter points in the unfriendly confines of Lambeau Field and Matt Ryan completed 24-of-39 passes for 375 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones blew up for a team-record 259 yards and a TD on 11 receptions. They just leaned on me today and I just tried to make most of the plays, Jones said. Everything they threw on me, I tried my best to get them. Jones leads all receivers in the NFL with 1,428 yards. The 259-yard outburst was the best performance by any receiver in the NFL this season, besting Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins, who posted 238 yards in a game against the Tennessee Titans earlier this season. He did suffer a hip injury in the fourth quarter, but is expected to be alright Sunday versus the Steelers. Julio has a hip injury, and (safety) William Moore has a foot injury. Were hoping that these guys will be ready to go at the end of the week, Falcons head coach Mike Smith said. How much practice time theyre going to get? We dont know that at this point in time, but it is our intention to do everything in our power to have these guys ready to go against Pittsburgh. Falcons wide receiver Roddy White needs one more touchdown to pass Michael Turner (61) for the franchise lead. The Steelers lead the series witth the Falcons, 12-2-1, and are 6-2 in the Peach State. Austin Rivers Jersey. Pittsburgh won the last meeting, 15-9, in overtime back on Sept. 12, 2010 in the season opener for both teams. Roethlisberger did not play in that one because of a suspension. Ryan passed for 252 yards with no TDs and one INT. That game took place in the Steel City and Ryan is back home, where owns a 39-12 record with 84 touchdown passes and 32 interceptions with a 98.0 QB rating. Ryan has thrown at least one touchdown in 18 straight games dating back to 2013. WHAT TO WATCH FOR The Falcons have New Orleans and Carolina on the docket to close out the regular season, and face a tough challenge with Pittsburgh in town. Atlanta will have to slow down Bell and the Steelers ground attack to have a chance, and struggled with Green Bays Monday night. The Packers netted 179 yards on the ground and running backs James Starks and Eddie Lacy ended with 75 and 73 yards, respectively. Both backs had a rushing touchdown. Bell poses as a huge threat this week and Smith knows it. Well, hes going to have a challenge very similar to what we had in the game yesterday. If it wasnt there down the field they were going to check the ball down, Smith said Tuesday. Their backs were very active in the passing game yesterday, and the running back that were getting to face this week has had 200 yards of total offense the last couple of weeks. Hes not just doing it carrying the ball; hes doing it catching the ball as well. Its going to be a challenge for us. Smith also gave credit to Roethlisberger and his ability to shed off would-be tacklers in the pocket. If Aaron Rodgers was annoying enough by making time in the pocket, Big Ben will be just as irritating. Rodgers passed for 327 yards and three scores, and hooked up with Jordy Nelson eight times for 146 yards and a pair of touchdown connections. Enter Brown. Brown is first in the NFL with 105 receptions, second with 1,375 yards and third with 11 TDs. Brown and Bryant can give opposing defensive backfields nightmares with their speed and ability to gain yards after the catch. The Steelers have won two in a row on the road and Sundays game in Atlanta wont be an easy one. I really think the significant element of the storyline is we are faced with another road game against a division leader and its a significant game for both teams, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. Both teams will prepare with that in mind and play with an edge with that in mind. We have a great deal of respect for these guys. OVERALL ANALYSIS The cream usually rises to the top and no team deserves to be in the playoffs with a record below .500. Well, the Falcons can be that team if the remainder of the season goes their way. However, the Steelers will make it difficult for the Falcons to achieve their goal with a high-scoring win at the Georgia Dome. Look for another all-purpose performance from Bell and some more receptions for Brown. 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