Cristiano Ronaldo agrees to pay €19m fine to settle tax fraud case

Ronaldo smiled but said nothing as he walked past journalists into court in Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo leaves with his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez after appearing in court on a trial for tax fraud in Madrid. Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo leaves with his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez after appearing in court on a trial for tax fraud in Madrid. Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters

 

The Juventus and Portugal footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, has accepted a fine and suspended jail term for tax fraud in Spain, signing a deal to settle a case which will cost him a total of €18.8m.

The 33-year-old is unlikely to serve any time in jail as the sentence was expected to be within a two-year threshold that can be served on probation as a first offence under Spanish law.

Ronaldo smiled but said nothing as he walked past journalists into court in Madrid, hand in hand with his Spanish fiancee, Georgina Rodriguez.

Under Spanish law, as a first offender can serve anything less than a two-year sentence under probation, Ronaldo would not have to go to jail.

The court appearance is expected to be short. Court officials say the player would only have to confirm that he accepted the deal.

Earlier, Ronaldo’s former teammate at Real Madrid, Xabi Alonso, walked in to face own case of tax fraud with his hands deep in his suit pockets. “Yes, all good,” was his only response to journalists’ questions.

Ronaldo was forced to enter the courtroom through the front door after his request for special security measures to avoid the spotlight was denied on Monday.

In 2017, Ronaldo denied the accusation that he knowingly used a business structure to hide income that his image rights generated in Spain between 2011 and 2014.

After reaching the deal, he paid a fine of €5.7m, plus interest of about €1m, in July 2018, the prosecutor’s office said last week.

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