Lionel Messi's Play Won't be Impacted by Tax Fraud Drama off the Pitch

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Lionel Messi's Play Won't be Impacted by Tax Fraud Drama off the Pitch
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is the most talented football player on the planet, depending on who you ask. And that's why he won't be impacted this coming season by the drama currently surrounding him off the pitch.

Earlier this month it was reported that Messi and his father were being investigated for tax fraud.

The star forward has reportedly paid €10 million to Spanish tax authorities since the investigation began, according to HollywoodReporter.com, but it's safe to say that this situation will continue to follow Messi this summer.

But don't expect a distracted Messi to fall victim to a scoring drought or stretches of poor play.

The eye-popping numbers Messi has put up in recent seasons at Camp Nou suggest that if he's suited up and in the lineup, his impact will be felt more than any of the other 21 players on the pitch.

One year after scoring 50 goals for Barca in La Liga, Messi did not disappoint, leading the Spanish Primera Division with 46 goals in just 32 league appearances this past season. And now, having just turned 26 years old, Messi looks to be entering the prime of his playing career, if you can believe it.

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Plus, by the time next season arrives, the conversation will most likely center on how Messi and newly-acquired star Neymar will mesh together at the top of the club's lineup rather than the Argentine star's finances.

Even if Messi's missteps are the topic of discussion months from now, the game will offer him a much-needed respite from the drama, where he can let his goals do the talking.

The reigning La Liga champions will have even greater expectations to live up to, but with two of the planet's top attacking players on board and Messi back at 100 percent physically with time off to recover from his hamstring injury, there's no reason why Barcelona wouldn't be worth the hype in 2013-14.

If you're expecting the drama off the pitch to sink Messi this coming season, think again.

Not only has the Ballon d'Or winner performed at a never-before-seen level in recent years (a record 91 goals scored in 2012), but the games will also be a welcomed distraction for him, and now he has elite backup in the form of Neymar.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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