Cristiano Ronaldo has been under the scanner for allegedly evading taxes. After news broke out of the Portuguese superstar defrauding tax authorities, there has been speculation regarding the forward’s future in Spain and he has even been linked with a mega transfer to former club Manchester United.
However, things seem to have simmered down after club president Florentino Perez spoke to the player and now, Spanish public broadcaster TVE has reported that the player will pay the Spanish treasury, a sum of €14.7 million “as a gesture of goodwill”. The report added that despite deciding to pay the said sum, Ronaldo will continue to deny any wrongdoing, and will equally continue to “litigate to prove his innocence”.
The Spanish authorities have actively been finding tax wrongdoings involving notable names in football. Recently, former Real Madrid manager José Mourinho was accused by prosecutors of defrauding Spain of €3.3m (£2.9m; $3.6m) in taxes while he was Real Madrid coach from 2011 to 2012.
Cristiano Ronaldo and José Mourinho are both clients of the football agent Jorge Mendes. Other Mendes clients being investigated for alleged tax evasion while playing in La Liga include Ricardo Carvalho, Ángel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao.
Contrary to both Ronaldo and Mourinho, Di Maria has admitted to two counts of tax fraud and has been given a suspended one-year jail sentence and fined £1.76m for tax fraud in Spain during his four-year spell with Real Madrid between 2010 and 2014, related to his image rights. The PSG forward will almost definitely not spend any time in jail for the same reason Lionel Messi wouldn’t – in Spain, sentences of under two years are suspended providing the convicted person has no criminal record.