Real Madrid News: Real Madrid Demands Respect For Cristiano Ronaldo Amidst Tax Evasion Allegations

By Faye F. , Updated Dec 08, 2016 11:07 AM EST
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Real Madrid backed up its star Cristiano Ronaldo after allegations sprang up that the Portuguese international hid at least $160M from image rights in the British Virgin Islands.  

European Investigative Collaborations, a group of European media outlets, alleged that Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho and other high-profile football players avoided paying tax on income from image rights by channeling the money overseas. The group cited documents provided by the website Football Leaks, which has also made claims in the past of transactions made by football players and coaches that hint of financial impropriety. The documents leaked to the journalists allegedly showed evidence of Ronaldo using overseas companies to avoid paying taxes, with over 2TB's worth of data to include official documents and contracts that confirm the transactions.  

Gestifute, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mourinho's agency, released a statement denying wrongdoing of their clients. The agency claims that their clients act in compliance in regards to their fiscal responsibilities to Spain. Gestifute would take legal action against any accusation related to that nature to Ronaldo or Mourinho. The Spanish tax authority has been looking into Gestifute's clients for some time now, according to El Mundo.  

This was followed by a statement from Gestha, a union at Spain's tax authority that represents its lower-level workers, recommended that a criminal case for Cristiano Ronaldo's taxes during the 2011 - 2013 season should be opened. The union added that the ongoing investigation in Ronaldo's taxes showed evidence of tax offences that merits a prison statement. The president of the union, Carlos Cruzado have also said that if Ronaldo was found to be using tax havens, he could face imprisonment of up to 2 - 6 years.  

In light of all the allegations made against the player, Real Madrid released a statement on his defense. "In view of the stories published over recent days and in consideration of the certificate issued by the Spanish Tax Agency which confirms that our player Cristiano Ronaldo is up to date with all of his tax obligations, Real Madrid C. F. call for the utmost respect to be shown towards Cristiano Ronaldo, whose conduct has been absolutely exemplary throughout all of his time at our club." 

Xavi Hernández, former Barcelona midfielder, has expressed his surprise at the numbers involved in the allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo, saying "...it's a stratospheric figure. But I don't know if the agent did things well or [if it's true]." Hernandez was rather sympathetic to the Portuguese international as he also had a rocky relationship with Spanish tax authorities during his time. He emphasized that problems can rise up due to differences of interpretation with the tax authority, saying "You always try to do things in line with the law, but even so, the tax office could consider they haven't been done accordingly."

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