Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

The political matters in the United Kingdom (UK) could see a loss to Spanish football teams in future. Superstars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo could face a ban that would stop them from traveling to England.

People with a prison sentence or criminal conviction on them may not be allowed to travel to England. Football stars Ronaldo and Messi have previosly been alleged of tax fraud, and they might not travel to England again.

Messi is currently an EU citizen as he carries a duel Spanish-Argentine passport leaving him free to travel to the UK for his non-violent conviction.

But immigration lawyer Andrew Osbourne of firm, Lewis Silkin, has warned that players could face travel issues once the UK leaves the EU.

In an interview with the Athletic, he revealed: “There is a specific point around European games. If you are an EU citizen with a criminal conviction, you can travel to the UK, as long as you are not deemed to be a threat to national security.

“If you are not an EU citizen and have a conviction or prison sentence imposed – even if suspended – you are banned from coming to the UK. There are a number of very famous footballers with convictions and suspended sentences for tax evasion. They, thus far, have not had to worry as they have EU passports.”

“But post-Brexit, they potentially may not be able to enter the country (as they will be treated like non-EU nationals).

Cristiano Ronaldo standing with his hands on hips
File photo of Cristiano Ronaldo

“Anyone with a prison sentence of any sort, the starting point is you are not allowed in. This could provide disruption to Champions League squads and also whether they (UEFA) will play finals in England if players potentially may not be able to come in.”

“Clubs will need to take steps.”

Neither of Barcelona or Juventus are up against any English opponents in the group stage, but they should face the prospect of facing one at some stage during the knockout phase.