Real have 'full confidence' in Ronaldo over tax

Cristiano Ronaldo (Getty)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Getty)

Madrid - Real Madrid backed star forward Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday after Spanish prosecutors accused the star player of evading €14.7m in tax through offshore companies. 

"Real Madrid C.F. have full confidence in our player Cristiano Ronaldo, who we understand has acted in accordance with the legality regarding the fulfilment of his fiscal obligations," Real said in a statement.

"Since his arrival at Real Madrid C.F. in July 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo has always shown a clear will to fulfil all his tax obligations. 

"Real Madrid C.F. are absolutely convinced that our player, Cristiano Ronaldo, will prove his total innocence in this process. Real Madrid C.F. hope that justice is done as quickly as possible so that his innocence can be proven as soon as possible." 

The 32-year-old Ronaldo - the world's highest paid athlete according to Forbes magazine - follows in the footsteps of Barcelona forward and Argentina star Lionel Messi, who was found guilty of the same offence last year, although the sums involved were allegedly smaller. 

If he too is put on trial and found guilty, he risks "a fine of at least €28m and could potentially be jailed for three-and-a-half years, according to the Gestha union of experts at Spain's Inland Revenue. 

Ronaldo is accused of "four crimes against the public treasury between 2011-14... which involves tax fraud of €14 768 897 ", Madrid's public prosecutor's office said on Tuesday. 

"The accused took advantage of a company structure created in 2010 to hide income generated in Spain from his image rights from tax authorities, which is a 'voluntary' and 'conscious' breach of his fiscal obligations in Spain," it said. 

Prosecutors accuse the Portugal international of evading tax via a shell company based in the British Virgin Islands and another in Ireland, known for its low corporate tax rate. 

In addition, they say he only declared €11.5m of Spanish-related income from 2011 to 2014, while what he really earned during that time was close to €43m. 

And finally, they accuse him of "voluntarily" refusing to include €28.4 million in income linked to the sale of his image rights for the 2015 to 2020 period to a Spanish company.

loading... Live
Everton 0
West Bromwich Albion 1
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 7594 votes
Cricket
11% - 1925 votes
Football
19% - 3474 votes
Athletics
3% - 451 votes
Boxing
1% - 162 votes
Cycling
2% - 430 votes
Golf
5% - 888 votes
Motorsport
8% - 1502 votes
Tennis
3% - 598 votes
Water sports
1% - 163 votes
American sports
1% - 210 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 557 votes
Vote