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Ronaldo joins Messi in the dock for tax fraud

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The Spanish Tax Authorities (Agencia Tributaria) consider that Real Madrid football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo defrauded over 8 million euros ($8.95 million) by not correctly declaring his image rights for the period between 2011 and 2013, according to media reports in Spain.

The revelations were made on Thursday by radio stations Cadena Ser and Cadena Cope citing sources in the Spanish tax authorities.

However, the radio stations added that there is an internal debate within the tax authority over whether Ronaldo actually committed a crime or an administrative error, given that he tried to bring his situation up to date before the investigation began.

If finally it is considered that Ronaldo merely committed an administrative error, he would have to repay the 8 million euros, as well as the corresponding fine. But if it was considered to be a criminal offence, he would face a prison sentence of four months in jail for every year he was considered to have offended (2011, 2012, 2013).

These revelations come just 24 hours after the Spanish Supreme Court maintained a 21-prison sentence for FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi, who was considered to have defrauded 4.2 million euros ($4.70 million) in tax from earnings related to his image rights during the period 2007-2009.