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Cristiano Ronaldo has appeared at a Spanish court where he was facing allegations he evaded millions in tax.

Prosecutors accuse the soccer star, reported to be the world’s highest paid athlete, of evading €14.7 million ($17.3 million) in tax.

Cristiano Ronaldo, 32, had been expected to make a statement after the pre-trial hearing, but left without saying a word.

The Real Madrid player has previously denied the allegations, saying his “conscience is clear”.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the latest in a string of soccer players to be pursued by the Spanish tax authorities.

Image source Wikimedia

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Lionel Messi, who plays for Barcelona, was handed a 21-month prison sentence after being found guilty of the same charge last year.

Earlier this month, the court ruled he could pay €252,000 in place of jail time.

However, Lionel Messi was only accused of evading €4.1 million in tax, €10.6 million less than Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo spent an hour-and-a-half giving evidence to judges at a court in the Madrid suburb of Pozuelo de Alarcón on July 31, dodging the media camped outside by arriving and leaving via an underground garage.

According to prosecutors, Cristiano Ronaldo allegedly took “advantage of a company structure created in 2010 to hide income generated in Spain from his image rights from tax authorities”, which was a “voluntary and conscious breach of his fiscal obligations in Spain”.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s management has also denied the allegations.

However, if the case is sent to trial and Cristiano Ronaldo is found guilty, the Portuguese forward could face a fine of “at least €28 million” and a prison sentence of three-and-a-half years, the Gestha union of experts at Spain’s Inland Revenue says.


José Mourinho has denied tax fraud in Spain, saying the government had ratified his tax affairs.

The Manchester United manager was accused by prosecutors of defrauding Spain of €3.3 million ($3.6 million) in taxes while he was Real Madrid coach from 2011 to 2012.

A prosecutor said José Mourinho, 54, did not declare income from image rights in order to get an “illicit benefit”.

A statement released on José Mourinho’s behalf said he “has not received any notification”.

Photo Getty Images

It added: “To this date, neither the Spanish tax authorities, nor the public prosecutor have contacted Jose Mourinho or his advisers who were hired for the inspection process.”

The statement also said José Mourinho “paid more than €26 million in taxes, with an average tax rate of over 41%” during the three years until May 2013 and that he “entered into a settlement agreement” with the Spanish tax authorities after a change of rules in 2015.

José Mourinho has been accused of two counts of tax fraud – €1.6 million in 2011 and €1.7 million in 2012. The Madrid prosecutor said the case was presented to a local court.

Other prominent soccer figures have been accused of tax fraud in Spain in recent months.

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who played under José Mourinho Mourinho and shares the same agent, is accused of defrauding tax authorities of €14.7 million, by also hiding his income from image rights.

Cristiano Ronaldo denies the accusations and is threatening to leave Spain. The Portuguese is set to give evidence in his case on July 31.

Real Madrid soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho have been accused of tax avoidance, according to claims based on a huge document leak.

They allegedly avoided paying tax on millions of dollars of earnings by moving large sums to the British Virgin Islands.

The allegations are said to be based on two terrabytes of leaked information which include original contracts.

Both of them deny the claims.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

Soccer agency Gestifute, which represents Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho, said in a statement: “Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho are fully compliant with their tax obligations with the Spanish and British tax authorities.

“Any insinuation or accusation made to Cristiano Ronaldo or Jose Mourinho over the commission of a tax offence will be reported to the legal authorities and prosecuted.”

The claims were published by an international consortium of journalists which obtained a trove of about 18 millions documents. Other top players were named in the documents.

The European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) consortium includes German newspaper Der Spiegel, Spain’s El Mundo and the UK’s Sunday Times. It says it intends to publish a series of articles under the banner “Football Leaks” over the next few weeks.

The leak comes eight months after the so-called Panama Papers lifted the lid on how the world’s rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth.

One of the newspapers in the consortium, the Dutch NRC, alleges that Cristiano Ronaldo moved €63.5 million ($67.7 million) to the British Virgin Islands at the end of 2014.

The paper says Cristiano Ronaldo received sponsorship fees which were moved via two Irish companies to the tax haven, 11 days before Spain changed an advantageous tax law.

The NRC says the striker has so far not responded to questions asked by the consortium.

According to El Mundo, the leaked documents relate to the time that Jose Mourinho spent as manager of Real Madrid, between 2010 and 2013.

Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo’s current employer, did not respond to requests from news agencies for comment.

Manchester United said the allegations related to events before Jose Mourinho’s arrival at the club and so it would not comment.

Jose Mourinho is reported to have moved €12 million ($13.2 million) into a Swiss account owned by a British Virgin Islands company, according to the EIC.

According to the reports, December 2 first batch of leaks centered on “a system” put in place by Jorge Mendes, whose company has denied any wrongdoing.

Jorge Mendes’ company, Gestifute, said in a statement that neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Jose Mourinho “have been implicated in legal proceedings of the tax evasion commission in Spain”.

Gestifute noted it had taken legal redress against claims of tax evasion and stressed it had always acted with “the highest degree of professionalism in relations with [its] clients and authorities”.

It accused the media consortium of operating in an “insidious” way concerning the stars’ tax obligations.


Real Madrid has topped Forbes’ 2014 annual list of World’s 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams.

The Spanish soccer club, which won the Champions League in May, is worth an estimated $3.44 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

The top three slots are occupied by football clubs, with Barcelona in second place at $3.2 billion, and Manchester United third, with a value of $2.81 billion.

Forbes calculated the value of the teams based on equity, debt and stadium deals.

Real Madrid has topped Forbes’ 2014 annual list of World's 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams

Real Madrid has topped Forbes’ 2014 annual list of World’s 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams

MLB baseball team the New York Yankees were in fourth spot, valued at $2.5 billion.

In fifth place is NFL team the Dallas Cowboys, worth $2.3 billion.

NFL teams fill 60% of the top 50 slots, occupying 30 places.

The 20 non-NFL teams in the top 50 include six from MLB, eight from football, four from NBA basketball, one from the NHL ice hockey league and one from Formula 1 motor racing.

Forbes calculates that the average value of the top 50 teams is $1.34 billion, an 8% increase on last year.

Baseball team the New York Mets are one of three teams that dropped off this year’s list of the top 50.

The other two to fall out of the list are also familiar names, the Oakland Raiders from the NFL and F1 team McLaren.


In recent years, all other major football nations have been playing catch up as they attempt to find a way of coping with the brilliance of the Spanish team. The combination of brilliant technique, fast pass-and-move football, and robust physical presence on the ball has made the Spanish team appear almost unstoppable over the last half decade. Having first captured the European Championships in 2008, to overcome the psychological nightmare of decades of underachievement, they went on to clinch the World Cup two years later and cement their status as the dominant force in international football. So with another major tournament in full swing, the question those watching the games and/or those involved with Euro 2012 Football Betting on sites like Bwin are asking is: will this domination continue?


When looking at the all-conquering achievements of the Spanish national team over the last half decade, it should be noted that this has been paralleled by a similar dominance in club football of the Spanish side Barcelona. Perhaps the apex of this was the final of the Champions League in 2011, when Barcelona took on the best team in England – Manchester United – and made them look second rate. However this season has seen frailties begin to appear in Barcelona’s armory, as they failed to win their domestic league and were knocked out of the Champions League in the semi-finals. When you consider that Spain’s other major team – Real Madrid – also fell at the same stage, this may offer some hope to the other teams.

Throw in the continued problems being experienced by Fernando Torres, and this is further grounds to think that Spain may not have things all their own way. However, we must keep things in perspective: Torres was struggling in 2010 and Spain still won the World Cup, while Champions League semi-final appearances by both Barcelona and Real Madrid hardly constitute a collapse in Spanish domestic football. The biggest encouragement for those hoping for a genuine challenger to Spain comes in the form of the strength of other sides – most notably Germany and the Netherlands – rather than the weakness of Spain.


Jose Mourinho has signed a new four-year contract to remain as manager of Real Madrid until 2016.

Jose Mourinho, 49, took over at Real in 2010 and guided his team to success in the Copa del Rey in his first campaign in charge.

This season, the Portuguese led Real Madrid to their first league title in four years.

Jose Mourinho has signed a new four-year contract to remain as manager of Real Madrid until 2016

Jose Mourinho has signed a new four-year contract to remain as manager of Real Madrid until 2016

Jose Mourinho won the Premier League twice with Chelsea and has won domestic and Champions League titles with both Porto and Inter Milan.

Real went out of their domestic cup competition at the quarter-final stage this season, losing 4-3 on aggregate to Barcelona and lost on penalties in the Champions League semi-finals to defeated finalists Bayern Munich.

But they won La Liga by nine points, their 32nd title in all but their first since 2007-08. Their totals of 100 points and 121 goals were new Primera Division records.