Cristiano Ronaldo Scores Tax Fine of almost $21.6 Million for Fraud

Cristiano Ronaldo and Xabi Alonso

Spain's soccer player Xabi Alonso talks to the media as he leaves after appearing in court on a trial for tax fraud in Madrid, Spain, January 22, 2019.

According to the prosecutor's report, Ronaldo "obtained significant income" from image rights between 2011 and 2014 and "should have paid tax in his subsequent declarations" to the Spanish authorities and failed to do so.

According to the report, Ronaldo agreed to pay almost €19 million (or about $21.6 million) in fines.

In Spain, a judge can suspend sentences for two years or less for first-time offenders.

Prosecutors estimated that Ronaldo had defrauded some 14.7 million euros, although they reduced the figure to 5.7 million euros after the Portuguese star took the plea deal.

The five-time Ballon d'Or had played for Juventus only hours prior to his court appearance, missing a penalty in the 3-0 win over Chievo in Turin.

The striker, often considered one of the best in the business, asked to use the discreet entrance after the court summoned him for the sentencing scheduled for Tuesday.

"I never hid anything, I have to defend myself", Alonso, 37, told reporters as he left the court.

Ronaldo's lawyers initially claimed there had been a misunderstanding and denied a deliberate attempt to evade tax, though he has now claimed responsibility and pleaded guilty.

The case centres around lucrative image rights deals which prosecutors state the proceeds were funnelled through low-tax companies in foreign nations to avoid paying the required tax.

Earlier, Ronaldo's former Real Madrid team mate Xabi Alonso walked in to face own tax fraud case totalling 2 million euros ($32.3 million).

Ronaldo is not the only football player to get in trouble for tax issues.

Between interests and fines, the five-time Ballon d'Or victor will have to hand over nearly 19 million euros to the public purse.

Police in the United States city recently asked Italian authorities for a DNA sample from the footballer. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

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