Portugal football star and Juventus of Italy striker, Cristiano Ronaldo on Tuesday was sentenced to two years in jail by a Spanish court for tax fraud.
The former World player of the year sentencing following his guilty pleading over the tax fraud charges. He was also ordered to pay a €19mln fine after his guilty plea.
He will, however, avoid serving a 23-month prison sentence after agreeing to a deal.
Ronaldo made the deal to plead guilty with Spain’s state prosecutor and tax authorities last year. The charges emanated from his days at Real Madrid, which were from 2009 to last year, when he joined Italian champion, Juventus.
Ronaldo will not have to serve time in prison because judges in Spain can suspend sentences for two years or less for first-time offenders.
Ronaldo, who arrived the court premises in a black van and wearing sunglasses, a black sports coat, black pants and white tennis shoes, stopped to sign an autograph before walking up some stairs leading to the court house. He was accompanied by Georgina Rodriguez, his partner, and his lawyers. He was escorted by Police officers. escorted him.
The court had dismissed Ronaldo’s request to enter the building directly from the parking lot, which would have allowed him to avoid the media. The request was made for security reasons, but the court said it didn’t think the measure was necessary.
Reports say Ronaldo didn’t make any comments while in the courtroom to sign the agreement.
In 2017, a state prosecutor accused Ronaldo of four counts of tax fraud from 2011-14 worth 14.7 million euros ($16.7 million). Ronaldo was accused of having used shell companies outside Spain to hide income made from image rights.
Xabi Alonso, another former Real Madrid player, also was in court in Madrid on Tuesday. He is accused of defrauding tax authorities of about 2 million euros ($2.3 million) from 2010-12.
The retired Spain midfielder denied any wrongdoing after spending nearly three hours in the court house.
“I’ve done everything correctly, never tried to hide anything. I’m confident justice will be done,” he said.
Alonso had initially been found innocent but the case against him was reopened.
He could be sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of 4 million euros ($4.5 million), in addition to the amount allegedly defrauded. The charges are related to Alonso’s income from image rights. He played for Madrid from 2009-14.