Barcelona have given their full backing to Lionel Messi in the superstar's tax fraud case and vowed to fight "external decisions" they say are unfairly targeting the club.

On Thursday a Spanish court ordered Messi and his father Jorge, who are accused of defrauding the Spanish state of £3.1m from 2007 to 2009, to stand trial and the state attorney said Barca's star player should serve a jail sentence of up to 22 months if found guilty.

Barca noted the state attorney's stance was "the complete opposite" to that of Spain's public prosecutor, who has said Lionel Messi should not have to answer the charges as his father oversaw his finances.

"FC Barcelona has expressed its affection and solidarity to Leo Messi and his family in such a peculiar situation," the statement said.

"The club shall continue to offer him and his family its full support and assistance in the legal, fiscal and administrative aspects of these proceedings."