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20th Jul 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo handed two year prison sentence and £12m fine

Ronaldo found himself in the midst of a tax dispute after the Spanish authorities accused him of not paying £12m in tax on his image rights

Reuben Pinder

Of course he won’t set foot inside a prison

Cristiano Ronaldo has settled a tax dispute with the Spanish treasury by accepting a two year prison sentence and has already paid a £12.1m fine to the treasury, according to reports in Spain.

The Juventus forward will still have to pay a an estimated £4.6m more to the authorities before the case is resolved.

He won’t spend any time in jail either, despite accepting a two year sentence, as sentences shorter than two years in Spain can be served on probation.

It is common practice for top level footballers in Spain who get caught in tax storms to be sentenced to the maximum length possible that does not mean they must serve actual jailtime, as has been the case with Javier Mascherano.

Lionel Messi was also handed a 21-month prison sentence in 2016 for tax fraud, though that was reduced to just a fine after an appeal from Messi’s representatives.

Ronaldo’s tax dispute arose when the Spanish authorities accused Ronaldo of failing to pay @£12.8m in tax on his image rights between 2011 and 2014 during his time at Real Madrid.

The Prosecutor for Economic Crimes in Madrid reportedly found that Ronaldo had “voluntarily” and “consciously” not paid tax on his image-rights earnings for the four aforementioned years.

Ronaldo will now ply his trade in Italy after moving to Juventus for a fee of around £88m. He spent nine years at Madrid, winning four Champions League trophies with Los Blancos before deciding to see a new challenge with the Bianconeri of Turin.