Cristiano Ronaldo denies tax evasion
Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has denied avoiding tax or hiding details of his income from the Spanish authorities.
The Portuguese international appeared at the magistrates court in Pozuelo de Alarcon, a suburb of Madrid, on Monday to answer charges relating to his tax returns between 2011-14.
Prosecutors alleged Ronaldo had evaded €14.7 million (£13.1m) in tax.
A statement released by his management company, Gestifute, read:
“The Spanish treasury knows every detail about my income, because it’s been given to them; I never concealed anything and I never tried to evade taxes.
“I always make my tax returns on a voluntary basis because I think we all have to declare and pay taxes based on our income.
“Those who know me know what I ask my advisers to do: have everything up date and paid promptly, because I do not want any problems.”
Cristiano Ronaldo claims that the transfer of his image rights to a company he owned took place back in 2004 and not in 2010 after joining Real Madrid:
“I kept the structure that managed them when I was in England…the lawyers that Manchester United recommended to me set it up in 2004, long before I thought about coming to Spain.
“The structure was a normal one in England; it was verified by the English treasury and ratified as legal and legitimate.”
Since 2015 the 32-year-old said his image rights have been granted to an independent third party registered in Spain, that pays tax for him.
Ronaldo will leave the decision in the court’s hands:
“This is the time to let justice run its course. I believe in justice and I hope that, in this case, once, again, there will be a fair decision.
“In order to avoid any unnecessary pressure, or any contribution to a parallel trial, I’ve decided I won’t make any more statements on this subject until the decision is made.”
Real Madrid face Ronaldo’s former club Manchester United in the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday 8 August.