Wednesday 26 July 2017

Cristiano Ronaldo 'outraged' by speculation concerning his tax affairs and is now determined to leave Spain

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates during the Real Madrid celebration the day after winning the 12th UEFA Champions League Final at Casa de Correos on June 4, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Europa Press/Europa Press via Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates during the Real Madrid celebration the day after winning the 12th UEFA Champions League Final at Casa de Correos on June 4, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Europa Press/Europa Press via Getty Images)

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is "outraged" at what he feels is unfair treatment by Spanish tax authorities and is determined to quit the club and the country.

Press Association Sport understands the 32-year-old feels he is being singled out for disproportionate treatment after prosecutors accused him of defrauding the authorities of 14.7million euros (£12.8m).

A source claims the "outraged" Portugal international "feels great indignation" with all the speculation about his tax affairs and a sense of "injustice" at the allegations - which he contests - and has made a decision to leave Spain.

Earlier this week Ronaldo's agency Gestifute released a statement which said: "'There is no tax evasion scheme ... There has never been any hiding nor any intention to hide anything."

On Thursday Ronaldo, who only signed a new five-year contract in November, posted a picture of him with his fingers to his lips on Instagram with the caption: "Sometimes the best answer it's to be quiet."

The potential availability of the Portugal international, one of the most marketable players in the world, would alert a number of top clubs, plus big-spending Chinese Super League sides looking to make a statement.

However, his Real contract is understood to have a one billion euros (£874million) buy-out clause and, in May, Forbes calculated his pre-tax salary as being close to £45m a year.

Ronaldo has helped Real win the Champions League three times, scoring twice in last month's final as they became the first club to retain the title and he only the second player to score in three different finals. He is also the competition's record goalscorer with 105.

He has also won two LaLiga titles with the club he joined from Manchester United for £80m in 2009.

Arch-rival Lionel Messi took a similar stance in threatening to quit Spain in 2014, also claiming he had been singled out for special treatment, when he was accused of concealing 4.1m euros (£3.5m) from the authorities.

The Argentina was found guilty and subsequently lost an appeal against a 21-month prison sentence - under Spanish law sentences under two years are usually suspended - and a 2.1m euro (£1.8m) fine.

Press Association

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