MADRID, JAN 22 — Football superstar and Juventus player Cristiano Ronaldo pleaded guilty to tax fraud Tuesday and received a 23 months suspended jail sentence in Madrid.
The Juventus forward, who was facing charges stemming from his days at Real Madrid between 2009 and 2018, was in court for about 30 minutes and signed an agreement which will cost him nearly 18.8 million euros in fines.
Spanish prosecutors accused Ronaldo of having used shell companies outside Spain between 2011 and 2014 to hide income made from image rights.
Cristiano arrived with his girlfriend Georgina Rodrígez to the Provincial Court of Madrid, where a hundred media and some curious citizens were waiting for them.
When he left the facilities, Ronaldo stopped at the media and said that everything had gone “perfectly”.
“That’s it done,” were Ronaldo’s words to the media as he left court.
The Spanish society admires Ronaldo for his achievements as a Real Madrid player, but most of the people longed to solve his problems with Spanish justice.
“After all, he has evaded taxes. I do not know if it was his fault or his advisers’, but obviously he has to be brought before the Justice. If he evaded taxes, he must pay what he has to pay and give back the amount he has not declared”, citizen Alberto Rodriguez told Xinhua.
The current Juventus forward, who joined the Italian team in a 100 million euro deal with Real Madrid last year and earns a salary of around 30 million euros a year, was not the only football superstar who is facing the Madrid court today.
His Real Madrid teammate Xabi Alonso, for whom the prosecution asks for 5 years in prison for tax fraud, also had to appear in court, but his trial was suspended.
Ronaldo and Xabi Alonso cases’ are similar to the Luka Modric, Marcelo, Radamel Falcao, Angel Di Maria and Javier Mascherano cases.
They all have allegedly incurred crimes against the Spanish Public Treasury and have reached agreements with the Prosecutor’s Office in order to reduce possible penalties. – XINHUA