Real Madrid back's star player Ronaldo over Tax evasion

Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has come under fire from the Spanish tax authorities for allegedly failing to declare over €14.7 million ($16.4 million) in revenue derived from image rights.

In this photo taken on Tuesday, March 28 2017, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during the global friendly soccer match between Portugal and Sweden at the dos Barreiros stadium in Funchal, Madeira island, Portugal.

The statement, released via his representatives, was in response to a tax fraud lawsuit being filed against the 32-year-old Real Madrid star on Tuesday.

After being named the world's highest-paid athlete by Forbes, banking $93 million over the last 12 months, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is being accused of tax evasion.

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"Real Madrid C.F are absolutely convinced that our player, Cristiano Ronaldo, will prove his total innocence in this process".

Ronaldo is accused of "four crimes against the public treasury between 2011-14... which involves tax fraud of 14,768,897 euros", Madrid's public prosecutor's office said on Tuesday.

In the indictment, the prosecution alleged that Ronaldo had evaded tax "in a conscious and voluntary manner". The court found Messi had funneled income earned from his image rights through countries such as Uruguay, Switzerland and Belize, evading more than 4 million euros in taxes from 2007 to 2009.

Now the two are linked by tax woes from income generated in Spain.

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He is the latest high-profile football player to run afoul of Spain's tax authorities.

The prosecutor has alleged that Ronaldo defrauded the Spanish government to the tune of $1.57 million, $1.91 million, $3.59 million, and $9.53 million (all figures converted to United States dollars from Euros).

Madrid have now also offered their support to the four-time Ballon d'Or victor, believing him to be innocent of any wrongdoing.

Earlier Barcelona forward Lionel Messi was convicted of tax fraud for unpaid income from image rights previous year, but he is not expected to serve prison time since it was his first offence.

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