I am not a tax dodger, says Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo will appear in a Spanish court today as he stands accused of evading millions in tax.

In June, a state prosecutor accused Ronaldo of four counts of tax fraud from 2011-14 worth 14.7 million euros ($16.5 million).

The 32-year-old Portuguese, who was in the Pozuelo de Alarcon court for about 90 minutes, declined to speak to reporters afterwards, but he released a statement through his agency Gestifute.

Earlier this month, the court ruled he could pay 295,000 dollars in place of jail time.

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"Those who know me know that I tell my consultants that they must have everything in order and paid up to date because I don't want trouble".

Messi, however, was only accused of evading £3.67m of tax, nearly £10m less than Ronaldo.

The Spanish tax authorities have been particularly aggressive with the football world over tax evasion.

All are clients of super-agent Jorge Mendes, who was also questioned and put under official investigation last month by a Spanish court investigating alleged tax evasion by Monaco striker Radamel Falcao, another footballer in his stable.

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No members of the media were permitted inside the court, and a plan for the Portugal captain to read a prepared statement afterward was shelved, with a Gestifute statement instead released nearly two hours later.

This last was commuted to an additional fine of 252 000 euro: € 400 per day in prison. That is where cases are heard if the defendant faces a prison sentence of more than two years. Barcelona star Lionel Messi was previously accused and acquited in a similar case.

It is time to let justice work, I believe in justice and I hope that there is a fair decision.

Not long after the prosecutor's office submitted their complaint, reports emerged that Ronaldo wanted to leave the capital club, with a move to Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United emerging. Possibly PSG-bound Brazilian Neymar was cleared of fraud but still faces a corruption charge in relation to his move to Barcelona from Santos in 2013, while Croatian Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric is now under investigation for perjury.

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