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Cristiano Ronaldo Handed Suspended Sentence After Pleading Guilty To Tax Fraud

Cristiano Ronaldo Handed Suspended Sentence After Pleading Guilty To Tax Fraud

Cristiano Ronaldo is the latest player to have been in court in Spain over tax fraud with the former Real Madrid forward pleading guilty to the charges and avoiding spending any time behind bars.

The rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi has now reached a ridiculous level with the two men even competing with each other over tax fraud cases in Spain.

In 2017 Messi was given a suspended sentence by the courts and made to pay a €1.7 million fine, as well as previously paying arrears of €5.1 million, due to tax fraud but in typical fashion Ronaldo has tried to outdo his rival.

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The former Manchester United forward was in court this morning over a tax fraud charge and pleaded guilty.

Ronaldo's punishment was a 23 month prison sentence but under Spanish law a first offence that is a non-violent crime leads to a suspended sentence.

On top of not spending a day behind bars the 33 year old also have to pay a £16.9 million fine, which still wouldn't be enough to sign Dominic Solanke.

Ronaldo leaves the court. Image: PA Images
Ronaldo leaves the court. Image: PA Images

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Madrid prosecution sources told the Daily Mail, "The Provincial Prosecutors' Office of Madrid is seeking a 23-month prison sentence for Cristiano Ronaldo Dos Santos Aveiro for the commission of four crimes against the Public Treasury relating to Personal Income Tax for the tax years 2011 to 2014 inclusive.

"Over those four years prosecutors say the footballer deprived the Public Treasury out of 5,717,174 euros (£5.3 million)."

Pleading guilty and agreeing a deal with the courts has allowed Ronaldo to avoid a longer trial and potentially a heftier punishment.

Ronaldo's former teammate at the Bernabeu Xabi Alonso does face potential time behind bars as Public prosecutors want the former Liverpool midfielder to be handed a five year sentence.

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Xabi Alonso in court. Image: PA Images
Xabi Alonso in court. Image: PA Images

It's not just players that seem to struggle with tax laws in Spain with Barcelona being in trouble themselves over the signing of Neymar.

The Catalan giants had to pay £11.2 million to Spanish authorities in 2014 but denied any wrongdoing saying, "The aim is to cover eventual interpretations that could be given to the contracts drawn up in the operation to sign Neymar."

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.