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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Sports
Ronaldo denies tax fraud at hearing
    2017-August-2  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

REAL Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo denied hiding millions of euros in income at a court hearing near Madrid on Monday where he was charged with tax evasion, the latest soccer star to fall foul of Spain’s taxman.

The Portuguese — the world’s highest paid sportsman according to Forbes magazine — follows in the steps of his archrival, Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who was found guilty of the same offense last year.

“I have never hidden anything, nor have I had the intention of evading taxes,” Ronaldo, 32, told the court, according to a statement from the agency that represents him, Gestifute.

“I always voluntarily file my tax returns because I think we all must file a return and pay taxes according to our income. Those that know me, know what I ask my advisors: that they have everything up to date and properly paid, because I don’t want problems.”

Accused of having evaded 14.7 million euros (US$17.3 million) in tax, he entered and left the court in Pozuelo de Alarcon, a wealthy suburb of Madrid where he lives, via an underground garage to avoid the press.

Prosecutors allege he took “advantage of a company structure created in 2010 to hide income generated in Spain from his image rights from tax authorities.”

They say this was a “voluntary and conscious breach of his fiscal obligations in Spain.”

Prosecutors accuse the four-time World Player of the Year of evading tax via a shell company based in the British Virgin Islands and another in Ireland.

In addition, they say the Real striker only declared 11.5 million euros of Spanish-related income from 2011 to 2014, while what he really earned during that time was close to 43 million euros.

They also accuse him of “voluntarily” refusing to include 28.4 million euros in income linked to the sale of his image rights for the 2015 to 2020 period to a Spanish company.

Ronaldo told the court he did not create a “special structure” to manage his image rights when he moved to Real in 2009 but simply maintained the one set up in 2004 while he was at Manchester United “long before I thought of coming to Spain.”

Ronaldo is not the only footballer to fall foul of authorities.

Messi was given a 21-month jail sentence and a 2.09-million-euro fine last year for tax fraud. His prison sentence has since been replaced by another fine of 252,000 euros, corresponding to 400 euros for each day of jail.

Barcelona’s Argentina defender Javier Mascherano, meanwhile, agreed to a one-year suspended sentence with authorities for tax fraud last year.

Brazil star Neymar, another Barcelona forward, and his parents are also due to stand trial for alleged corruption over his transfer from Santos in 2013.

Real has not been spared either. Apart from Ronaldo, ex-player Angel di Maria, Portuguese defender Fabio Coentrao and Jose Mourinho, who coached the club from 2010 to 2013, have all been accused of tax fraud.(SD-Agencies)

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