MADRID (AFP) – Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo avoided jail on Tuesday but was ordered by a Spanish court to pay $4.1 million for committing tax fraud when at Real Madrid, part of a broader 18.8-million-euro (over $21 million payout).
Sporting sunglasses and a smile, accompanied by his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez, Ronaldo arrived at the court in northeastern Madrid for a brief hearing.
He was handed a two-year jail sentence immediately reduced to a fine of 365,000 euros and another penalty of 3.2 million euros, according to the sentence.
Accused of having avoided paying 5.7 million euros in taxes due on his image rights between 2011 and 2014, Ronaldo has already paid the taxman 6.7 million euros for what he owed plus interest, the sentence read.
That – plus the court fine – comes to more than 10 million euros.
In June, the player’s lawyers and Spain’s taxman came to an agreement that Ronaldo would pay a grand total of 18.8 million euros.
That amount was not mentioned in the sentence but a source at the court, who refused to be named, said Ronaldo would have to pay 18.8 million euros in total, giving no further details.
Contacted by AFP, tax authorities, prosecutors and lawyers representing Ronaldo refused to provide any information.
It is unclear whether the remaining amount is a separate administrative fine.
“I am very well,’’ the five-time Ballon d’Or winner told the crowd of reporters gathered outside of the court as he left the hearing. He signed a few autographs before leaving in a black van.
The court refused the player’s request to appear by video or to enter the building by car to avoid the spotlight.
Ronaldo, who last year joined Italian champions Juventus, smiled broadly as he arrived at the court dressed in black trousers, a black turtleneck and dark sunglasses, holding hands with Rodriguez.
Police officers escorted him.
He had played for Juventus on Monday night, missing a penalty as the Italian league leaders eased past bottom club Chievo 3-0.
Madrid prosecutors opened an investigation into Ronaldo in June 2017 and he was questioned in July that same year.
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