Cristiano Ronaldo has firmly denied hiding any income from the law or committing any tax fraud in Spain. This comes in the wake of prosecutors filing a lawsuit accusing him of defrauding tax authorities of 14.7 million euros ($16.5 million).
The prosecutor’s office apparently said that the Portugal and Real Madrid talisman had intentionally used a business structure created in 2010 to hide his image rights income in Spain between 2011 and 2014. They allege that Ronaldo had defrauded the tax authorities of 1.4 million euros in 2011, 1.7 million euros in 2012, 3.2 million euros in 2013 and 8.5 million euros in 2014. This act is a “voluntary” failure to comply with tax obligations in Spain, according to the statement from the office’s economic crimes section.
A few top footballers have been accused of doing the same in Spain, notably Lionel Messi, who received a suspended sentence recently. Ronaldo however, denied the accusations through his representatives late on Tuesday.
“There is no tax evasion scheme … There has never been any hiding nor any intention to hide anything,” Gestifute, the agency representing the player, said in a statement.
Gestifute also promised to publish documents to ensure the evidence of the Portuguese player not creating such a situation is public for all to see. They insisted the player had used firms he had owned since his time at Manchester United and that both British and Spanish tax authorities were aware of the same.
The agency also elaborated that the said case could have multiple interpretations between the British and Spanish tax systems, but regardless, the player had not committed any fraud.
The possibility of the Real Madrid forward ending up behind bars is unlikely, but these accusations are nonetheless serious, and a tricky and long legal process lies ahead of the four-time Ballon d’Or winner.