Ronaldo appears in court over tax evasion

Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has appeared at a Spanish court where he was facing allegations he evaded millions in tax.

Prosecutors accuse Ronaldo, reported to be the world’s highest paid athlete, of evading €14.7m ($17.3m; £13.1m) in tax.

He had been expected to make a statement after the pre-trial hearing, but left without saying a word.

The Real Madrid star, 32, has previously denied the allegations, saying his “conscience is clear”.

Ronaldo is the latest in a string of footballers to be pursued by the Spanish tax authorities.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi, who plays for Barcelona, was handed a 21-month prison sentence after being found guilty of the same charge last year.

Earlier this month, the court ruled he could pay €252,000 in place of jail time.

However, Messi was only accused of evading €4.1m in tax, €10.6m less than Ronaldo.

Ronaldo spent an hour-and-a-half giving evidence to judges at a court in the Madrid suburb of Pozuelo de Alarcón on Monday, dodging the media camped outside by arriving and leaving via an underground garage.

-BBC

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