Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo to pay $21.6M fine for tax fraud


Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed to plead guilty to tax fraud and pay a fine of close to 19 million euros ($21.6 million), allowing him to avoid a prison sentence.

Ronaldo appeared in a Madrid court on Tuesday and signed the plea agreement, according to the Associated Press. “It’s done,” he reportedly said as he left the courtroom.

The charges dated back to Ronaldo’s time playing for the Real Madrid team. He was accused of using shell companies to hide 14.7 million euros, or approximately $16.7 million, in income from his image rights from 2011 to 2014. He joined an Italian soccer team, Juventus, last year.

Another former player for Real Madrid, Xabi Alonso, also appeared in court on Tuesday to face charges of defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of $2 million euros ($2.3 million) in income taxes. “I’ve done everything correctly, never tried to hide anything,” Alonso said, according to the AP. “I’m confident justice will be done.”

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal takes a free kick during the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Munich, Germany.

Adam Berry/Bloomberg

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.

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