Cristiano Ronaldo, who was recently listed as the world’s highest paid athlete this year, faces serious accusations by Spanish prosecutors. A Spanish state prosecutor recently accused Cristiano Ronaldo for defrauding Spain’s tax office of 14.7 million euros ($16.5 million) in unpaid taxes this Tuesday.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been accused of tax evasion.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) June 13, 2017
The Spanish prosecutor accused Cristiano Ronaldo for creating a shell company in the Virgin Islands to “create a screen in order to hide his total income from Spain’s Tax Office.”
These allegations are no different than the ones faced by Lionel Messi, Neymar and Samuel Eto’o. While Messi was deemed guilty of tax evasion (his sentence was upheld this year), Ronaldo appeared immune to these allegations until now.
Suspicions, however, were raised last year when “Football Leaks” – similar to Panama Leak papers – suggested that Ronaldo had underreported his income.
Ronaldo, on his part, denied all tax charges. He has previously stated that he had no fears because he has nothing to hide. When asked about the investigation, he told a journalist from Radio Television Portuguesa (RTP) "Quien no debe no teme", which roughly translates as "He who has nothing to hide has no fear."
"It is clear that the football player did not try to evade taxes," Ronaldo's Gestifute management company said in response to the allegations.
Ronaldo is currently the world’s highest paid sportsperson earning $93m (£72m) from salary, bonuses and endorsements last year.