Ronaldo ordered to appear in court

Ronaldo ordered to appear in court

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, accused of evading 14.7 million euro ($16.5m) in tax, has been summoned to appear before a judge in Spain, judicial sources told AFP on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old Portuguese star is facing four charges of fraud through offshore companies between 2011 and 2014.

The hearing will take place at 09:00 GMT on July 31 in a court at Pozuelo de Alarcón, in the suburbs of Madrid, according to Spanish press reports.

Prosecutors accuse Ronaldo, who is the world's highest paid athlete according to Forbes magazine, of evading tax via two companies based in the British Virgin Islands and Ireland.

The four-time World Player of The Tear, who said last week his ‘conscience is clear’, is threatening to leave Real Madrid over the affair. Ronaldo is currently on duty for Portugal at the Confederations Cup in Russia which ends on July 2.

The football world in Spain has been rocked by charges of tax evasion or corruption pressed against some of its top stars.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi was sentenced to a 21-month jail sentence and 2.09-million-euro fine last year for tax fraud. The prison term will be suspended as is common in Spain for first offences for non-violent crimes carrying a sentence of less than two years.

The 29-year-old and his father Jorge Horacio Messi were found guilty of using companies in Belize, Britain, Switzerland and Uruguay to avoid paying taxes on 4.16 million euros of Messi's income earned from his image rights from 2007-09.

Former Barca defender Javier Mascherano also agreed a one-year suspended sentence with authorities for tax fraud last year.

Mourinho joins the list

Meawnhile, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been accused of evading 3.3 million euro ($3.7 million) in tax at Real Madrid.

The 54-year-old Portuguese, who coached Real Madrid from 2010 to 2013, was accused of ‘two offences against the public treasury,’ the the public prosecutor's office in Madrid said in a statement.

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