Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is the latest high-profile football figure to be accused of defrauding the Spanish tax system, prosecutors confirmed on Tuesday.
Mourinho is alleged to have illegally avoided tax payments totalling more than €3.3m (£2.9m) in 2011 and 2012, during his spell in charge of current European champions Real Madrid.
Real superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is currently fighting allegations of tax fraud worth €14.7m, while his Barcelona rival Lionel Messi received a suspended jail sentence after being found guilty of the same offence.
“The economic crimes department of the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Madrid has filed a complaint in the courts of Pozuelo de Alarcon against Jose Mourinho in which he is accused of committing two crimes against the public treasury during the years 2011 and 2012 for a total amount of €3,304,670,” Spanish prosecutors said.
“This investigation was initiated in the Public Prosecutor’s Office after the State Agency of the Tax Administration informed the Prosecutor’s Office of this information. From now on it will be the judge who is in charge of the case who must carry out the necessary steps to determine the possible responsibilities of Mr Mourinho.”
Mourinho, who left Madrid in 2013 and returned to former club Chelsea before joining United last summer, said he has not heard from either the Spanish tax authorities or prosecutors.
He added that he paid more than €26m in tax during his three years there.
Ronaldo, estimated by Forbes to be the world’s highest-earning sportsperson, is accused of using shell companies in Ireland and the British Virgin Islands to avoid tax on earnings from his image rights.
The Portugal forward has strongly denied the allegations, while Real have emphasised their support for him. He and compatriot Mourinho share the same representative, super-agent Jorge Mendes, though there is no suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of Mendes.
Messi was sentenced to 21 months in jail last year after being found guilty of tax fraud totalling €4.1m (£3.6m). He did not spend any time in prison as sentences of less than two years are usually treated as suspended in Spain.
Neymar and Barca officials have been ordered to stand trial over alleged secret payments in his transfer from Santos in his native Brazil to the Catalan giants.