Ronaldo arrives in court to face tax fraud charges

Portuguese football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo arrived at a Spanish court on Monday to testify on €14.7 million ($17.3 million) tax fraud charges.

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Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo © Miguel Vidal

Spain’s tax authorities asked prosecutors in May to press charges against Ronaldo for allegedly defrauding the state of €15 million (US$16.7 million) between 2011 and 2014.

If found guilty, the Real Madrid star would face a large fine and possible prison sentence.

The 32-year-old footballer will face the charges at a court in Pozuelo de Alarcon in the affluent Madrid suburb where he lives.

The Real Madrid record scorer has denied any wrongdoing, saying that his “conscience is clear.” 

Another high-profile player, Lionel Messi of Barcelona, was also convicted of tax fraud earlier this year.

The 30-year-old Argentinian and his father, Jorge Horacio, were each handed 21-month suspended sentences for evading €4.1 million (US$4.5 million) in tax between 2007 and 2009.

However, the term was replaced with a €252,000 fine by a Barcelona court in the middle of July.