Diego Maradona, the former Argentine football star, has been told pay Italian taxes of about '30m, or 21m.
Reports said an Italian court rejected Maradona's appeal against the tax bills, which date back to 1985-1991 when he played for Napoli.
CNN reported that after arguing unsuccessfully that his old club should foot the bill, Maradona's lawyers tried to clear his name partly "by arguing a procedural technicality: tax collectors did not notify Maradona of the back taxes until it was too late".
"The case was lost, it's true," said Vincenzo Siniscalchi, one of Maradona's lawyers. But he doubted that the Italian Treasury would ever get a cent out of Maradona.
"They could confiscate what he has ... But he does not have anything in Italy," he said. "The ruling was symbolic."