Sport

Tax Evasion: Cristiano Ronaldo to appear before court on July 31

Tax Evasion: Cristiano Ronaldo to appear before court on July 31”

Ronaldo, the reigning Ballon d'Or award victor, last week said he's being unfairly treated by Spain's tax authorities, whose "persecution" has made him determined to leave Real Madrid and the country, a source confirmed to ESPN FC.

Ronaldo has denied any wrongdoing, and Madrid issued a statement last week saying it believed the player was innocent.

Manchester United boss José Mourinho has been accused of tax fraud by Spanish prosecutors investigating his time as Real Madrid's head coach.

Ronaldo and Mourinho are the latest members of the soccer elite to be accused of tax fraud in Spain.

Cristiano Ronaldo said Portugal were worthy winners after scoring his first goal of the Confederations Cup to steer his country to a 1-0 victory over hosts Russian Federation on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old and his father Jorge Horacio Messi were found guilty of using companies in Belize, Britain, Switzerland and Uruguay to avoid paying taxes on 4.16 million euros of Messi's income earned from his image rights from 2007-09.

Speaking to Gol regarding the speculation surrounding his compatriot, the former Real Madrid and Barcelona player said that "nobody is indispensable" at the Bernabeu - not even Ronaldo.

Ronaldo's trouble coincided with the same Madrid-based prosecutor's office accusing Mourinho of two counts of tax fraud.

Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi was given a 21-month sentence previous year, which he is unlikely to serve, for having defrauded the national purse of 4.1 million euros of undeclared image rights earnings.

Citing the Madrid prosecutor, the complaint filed in the court of Alarcón refers to tax on income in 2011 and 2012, when he was the Real Madrid manager.

Under Spanish law, a first-time offender is not required to serve time in jail for a sentence below two years.

"From now on it will be the judge in charge of the case who will take the necessary steps to determine the possible responsibilities of Mr Mourinho".

Madrid prosecutors said that after signing for the Spanish giants from Benfica in 2010, Di Maria had used companies in Panama and Ireland to hide earnings from the marketing of image rights.



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