Friday, 16 November, 2018

Spain court calls Cristiano Ronaldo to testify in $16mn tax fraud case

Sherri Watson | 25 June, 2017, 04:09

The complicated structure used by Mr Mourinho also incorporated two Dublin-registered companies registered to the north inner city address of Moore Stephens accountants.

Amid reports claiming that Portugal global Cristiano Ronaldo has made up his mind to leave Spanish giants Real Madrid this summer, his compatriot and former Bernabeu star, Luis Figo says "nobody is indispensable" in the club, including Ronaldo.

Mourinho left Real Madrid in 2013 to manage English Premier League club Chelsea for a second spell before signing with Manchester United previous year.

Argentina and Paris Saint-Germain star Angel di Maria has been handed a hefty fine and a prison sentence over a charge of tax fraud of 1.3 million euros ($1.4 million), Spanish authorities announced on Wednesday.

Ronaldo is not the first footballer who has been accused of tax fraud in Spain.

The episode may cost Real Madrid their star winger as Ronaldo feels hard done by the apparent excessive force with which the complaint has been dealt with.

It is believed that Manchester United are plotting a £183 million (R2.9 billion) move for Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata, which could see goalkeeper David de Gea going the other way.

Mourinho, who coached Real Madrid from 2010 to 2013, was accused of "two offences against the public treasury", the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Both Ronaldo and Mourinho are represented by Portuguese agent Jorge Mendes.

Montoro said, however, that sports stars must be "exemplary" and "particularly scrupulous in the fulfilment of their tax obligations" because their actions "radiate over the whole society, for example on youth, children". A Madrid judge will decide if the matter goes to court. Prosecutors accuse Ronaldo, who is the world's highest paid athlete according to Forbes magazine, of evading tax via two companies based in the British Virgin Islands and Ireland.

Former Barca defender Javier Mascherano also agreed a one-year suspended sentence with authorities for tax fraud last year.