Cristiano Ronaldo just has to try to outdo Lionel Messi in everything, doesn't he?
The Real Madrid star is now under investigation for cheating on his taxes and could even face jail time. Like Messi, though, even if Ronaldo is convicted he will probably have his sentence suspended, as he would be a first-time offender.
Allegations that Ronaldo has been hiding millions in offshore bank accounts (specifically in the British Virgin Islands) surfaced as part of the Football Leaks document dump, and now Spanish tax authorities have their eyes on him.
Real Madrid are standing behind their superstar forward, releasing a very hilarious statement claiming his taxes are totally perfect (how would they even know?) and he should be shown respect.
In view of the stories published over recent days and in consideration of the certificate issued by the Spanish Tax Agency which confirms that our player Cristiano Ronaldo is up to date with all of his tax obligations, Real Madrid C. F. call for the utmost respect to be shown towards Cristiano Ronaldo, whose conduct has been absolutely exemplary throughout all of his time at our club.
Spanish tax authorities have reportedly already been invesigating Ronaldo for 12 months, and it looks like he could stand trial like Messi did this summer.
Spanish tax union representative Carlos Cruzado had this to say when asked if Ronaldo should stand trial for tax fraud:
"That is what you would expect. We feel that the tax authority should pass the case to the public prosecutor, so that they take the reins on this. It is very easy to see this ending up in front of a judge, for sure. We are all part of the tax authority, although sometimes people doubt this, especially when the papers are full of stories like this."
Later, Cruzado said this:
"It would be good to clear up the exact criteria. There can be cases which are very similar, dealing with tax havens, that are dealt with differently, but the end objective should be the same. In [Ronaldo's] case it seems there is evidence of an offence and we would think that soon the prosecutor will receive a notification from the tax office."
Ronaldo's agent has denied the allegations.