Europe

Cristiano Ronaldo denies tax evasion accusations

Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Real Madrid during the Champions League final Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Real Madrid during the Champions League final

Spanish prosecutors have accused the Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo of defrauding the authorities of millions of euros in tax.

The prosecutor's office in Madrid says it has filed a lawsuit against the Portuguese player.

He is accused of evading tax of 14.7m euros (£13m; $16m) from 2011 to 2014.

In a statement, representatives of the world's highest paid footballer said there had never been concealment, or the slightest intention to conceal.

"It is clear that the football player did not try to evade taxes," Ronaldo's Gestifute management company said.

It said that the footballer had not hidden any income from the tax authorities or defrauded Spain.

Real Madrid later released a statement saying it had "full confidence" in its player, who had always complied with his obligations and would prove his total innocence.

Ronaldo had previously said he was not worried about tax investigations as he had nothing to hide.

On this occasion he is accused of knowingly using a "business structure" to hide income made from his image rights.

In December, leaked documents suggested that Ronaldo had avoided tax on income allegedly held in offshore accounts - allegations he also denied.

When asked about that investigation at the time, he told a journalist from Portuguese public broadcaster RTP that "he who owes nothing has nothing to fear."

Ronaldo is the world's highest-paid sportsperson for the second successive year, according to Forbes' annual list of the world's wealthiest people.

He earned $93m (£72m) from salary, bonuses and endorsements last year.

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