Cristiano Ronaldo, the number one Real Madrid’s star player, has been alleged with tax evasion. He, however, denies the charges and has arrived at his court appearance in the Spanish capital, Madrid for a pre-trial hearing after being accused.
The Real Madrid forward, who denies the allegations, arrived for his appearance in Pozuelo de Alarcon – the suburb where he lives – on Monday, with court proceedings due to start at 11:30 local time (09.30 GMT).
Prosecutors allege the 32-year-old has evaded €14.7million in taxes relating to his image rights.
The four-time Ballon d’Or winner is alleged to have created a “business structure” in 2010 to conceal his earnings, a charge also strenuously denied by his management company Gestifute.
If Ronaldo’s case is sent to trial and he is ultimately found guilty, the Gestha union of experts at Spain’s Inland Revenue has said he could face a fine of “at least €28m” and a prison sentence of three-and-a-half years.
The case has sparked intense speculation over Ronaldo’s future with his club after reports claimed he no longer wanted to play in Spain after the scrutiny of his tax affairs, but he is now expected to remain.
He is yet to join up with Madrid for their pre-season preparations due to his involvement in the Confederations Cup with Portugal in Russia.
Madrid has offered Ronaldo their support and believes he will be proved innocent of any wrongdoing.