‘Tax evasion’: Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo due in court on July 31

MADRID – Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been called to appear in a Spanish court on July 31 to testify in a case in which he is accused of evading taxes, according to The Confidential newspaper.

Although Ronaldo is still a Madrid player, reports say he wants to leave Madrid and Spain as a result of accusations from the Spanish tax authorities and the media.

A Spanish state prosecutor last week accused him of failing to pay 14.8 million euros on image rights earned between 2011 and 2014, saying he used a shell company in the Virgin Islands to ‘create a screen in order to hide his total income.’

Ronaldo is now under official investigation and will have to appear in the Pozuelo de Alarcon court No. 1 on July 31. A judge will then decide if there are grounds to charge him with a crime.

Ronaldo’s agency, Gestifute, released a statement after the accusations, saying ‘it is clear that the player did not try to evade taxes’ and there was ‘no offshore structure for evading taxes.’ Madrid said Ronaldo had their ‘full confidence,’ a point president Florentino Perez stressed again on Monday.

“I have complete confidence that he is innocent, he has always wanted to fulfill his fiscal commitments,” Perez said.

“There must be some sort of confusion which will be clarified. What I have been told is that he has the same structure in Spain that he had in England, and there was no problem there.”

Speaking about Ronaldo’s reported desire to leave the club, Perez added: ‘Not I, nor anyone at Madrid, is contemplating that Cristiano could leave the club.’

Ronaldo has limited himself to saying that he has a ‘clear conscience’ and is ‘always’ innocent, but has not spoken publicly since it was reported that he wants to leave Real Madrid.