Cristiano Ronaldo charged with €14.7m tax fraud by Spanish authorities

 
Joe Hall
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Ronaldo is worth an estimated £72m (Source: Getty)

Cristiano Ronaldo has been accused of defrauding Spanish authorities of €14.7m in tax by prosecutors who have filed charges against the Real Madrid star.

In the latest case to feature one of the Spanish league's most high profile players being probed by tax authorities, Ronaldo has been accused of knowingly hiding his image rights income between 2011 and 2014.

Now the wealthiest athlete in the world according to Forbes, who estimate his net worth to be $93m (£72.1m), Ronaldo is accused of only declaring €11.5m of an alleged €43m in image rights earnings over three years.

Read more: Neymar to face trial on corruption charges alongside Barcelona president

Ronaldo and his representatives have previously denied accusations of tax avoidance.

After receiving a report from Spain's tax agency AEAT, which recommended a five-year jail sentence, prosecutors are accusing the former Manchester United forward of using shell companies in the British Virgin Islands and Ireland to "screen" his earnings from authorities.

"It's only purpose was to create a screen to conceal the totality of his image rights income from the Spanish tax authorities," read the prosecutor's statement.

Ronaldo's Barcelona rivals Lionel Messi and Neymar have both found themselves embroiled in tax rows in recent seasons.

Messi was handed a 21-month suspended jail sentence last year after being found guilty of similar offences, while his Barcelona teammate Neymar will face trial over alleged irregularities in his 2013 transfer from Brazilian club Santos.

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