Cristiano Ronaldo has settled a case of tax fraud in Spain after accepting a £16.5million fine and a suspended jail term.
Real Madrid’s all-time top scorer was accompanied by his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez at the oourt case in in Madrid, Spain, on Tuesday.
The Portuguese striker pleaded guilty after he struck a deal last year with authorities in Spain to settle the case by paying a fine and accepting a suspended jail sentence.
The 33-year-old Juventus forward is unlikely to serve any time in jail, as the 23-month term prosecutors have requested is within a two-year threshold that can be served on probation for a first offence under Spanish law.
Upon leaving the court, the Portugal captain was seen smiling and uttered the words “all good” to the media gathered outside.
He asked for special security measures for accessing the court, but the request was denied, a Madrid judge said in a statement. Spanish media reported he had asked to be allowed to enter the courtroom via the car park.
In 2017, Ronaldo denied the accusation that he knowingly used a business structure created to allegedly hide income his image rights generated in Spain between 2011 and 2014.
He had paid a fine of £5m, plus interest of about £880k, in July 2018, the prosecutor’s office said last week.
Between 2005 and 2010, the so-called “Beckham law” allowed foreign football players in Spain to curb their tax payments.
It was lifted as financial crisis strained state coffers and prosecutors set their sights on the tax affairs of household names of the soccer world including Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.