Spanish taxman investigates Ronaldo revelations

Spanish tax authorities are investigating reports that Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo hid 150 million euros ($160 million) from image rights in tax havens.

Spanish taxman investigates Ronaldo revelations
Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou / AFP file picture

A group of 12 European newspapers made the allegations based on leaked documents obtained by German weekly Der Spiegel.

Other high profile clients of Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes were also implicated, including Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

Both Ronaldo and Mourinho say that they have fully complied with British and Spanish fiscal requirements.

“The information in the hands of the tax office correspond to what we have learned in the media,” Jose Enrique Fernandez de Moya, secretary for Spain's tax office, told radio station COPE.

“What I can say is that the tax agency is an extraordinarily professional agency and, as it has to, will carry out the inspections it sees fit.”

Lawyers for Ronaldo told the newspapers at the heart of the investigation that a Spanish tax audit aimed at the Portuguese was “still in progress.”

Ronaldo is far from the only high profile footballer to find himself investigated by the Spanish tax authorities.

Earlier this year, Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi was given a 21-month prison sentence while fellow Argentine Javier Mascherano was handed a one-year suspended sentence, both for tax fraud.


‘Diego is eternal’: Messi pays tribute to Maradona

Lionel Messi paid tribute to Diego Maradona on Wednesday by calling him "eternal" after his fellow Argentine died of a heart attack.

'Diego is eternal': Messi pays tribute to Maradona
Diego Maradona hugs Lionel Messi after 2010 World Cup quarter final Argentina vs Germany. Photo: AFP

“A very sad day for all Argentines and football,” Messi wrote on Instagram. “He has left us but he will never leave us because Diego is eternal. I will keep all the beautiful moments that I lived with him and would like to send my condolences to all his family and friends. RIP.”






A post shared by Leo Messi (@leomessi)

Messi and Maradona have often been compared in the debate about who was the greatest footballer of all time.

Both players are icons in Argentina and have been likened to each other due to their global status, dribbling style and famous number 10 shirts.    

Maradona was also Messi's coach during his brief time in charge of the national team, which included Argentina being thrashed by Germany in the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals.

A banner held up during 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 25, 2014. Photo: AFP


Maradona spent two years at Barcelona, where Messi is now captain and the club's all-time top scorer, although Maradona's greatest years were spent with Napoli in Italy.

Asked about Maradona in 2010, Messi said: “Even if I played for a million years, I'd never come close to Maradona. Not that I'd want to anyway. He's the greatest there's ever been.”