Mourinho accused of tax evasion in Spain

Mourinho accused of tax evasion in Spain

A Spanish state prosecutor has accused former Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho of tax fraud worth 3.3 million euros ($3.7 million) in unpaid taxes.

CRISTIANO RONALDO left a huge smile on the face of a young mascot in a wheelchair before Portugal's victory over Russian Federation.

Today it was revealed that the Manchester United Manager is accused of defrauding the Spanish tax collection authorities during his time as Real Madrid boss.

Alongside compatriot Jose Mourinho, Ronaldo joins an elite group of soccer players, including Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano, who have been convicted of tax evasion and fraud, as wealthy sports professionals come under increased financial scrutiny.

The accusation includes the 32-year-old not paying £13 million of earnings from image rights in the British Virgin Islands and the Republic of Ireland in order to evade paying tax.

He has agreed to pay fines and back taxes of €2m, while his one-year prison sentence is likely to be suspended.

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi was sentenced to a 21-month jail sentence and 2.09 million euro fine a year ago for tax fraud.

However, on July 31, Cristiano Ronaldo must attend to his first hearing at Madrid's Prosecutor's Office, after the authorities linked the brilliant athlete with an illegal image rights sale involving Ronaldo and his agent.

The episode may cost Real Madrid C.F. their star winger as Ronaldo feels hard done by the apparent excessive force with which the complaint has been dealt with.

According to Don Balon, manager Jose Mourinho never wanted the Portugal captain at Old Trafford, but would like to make Brazil worldwide the face of his new-look side. Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao and Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao, who have also been accused of tax fraud in Spain, are also clients of Mendes.

In a statement obtained by Reuters, the Spanish prosecutor said: "Ceding image rights to (Tollin Associates) was completely unnecessary and its only objective was to create a screen to hide the totality of his image rights income from the Spanish tax authorities". This is similar to deals struck with the Spanish taxman by fellow Argentinians Javier Mascherano and Lionel Messi a year ago.

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