NEW YORK: Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, who appeared in a Madrid court on Monday in connection with a tax evasion case, told a Spanish judge that he had “never tried to avoid taxes”.
Ronaldo has been accused by the Spanish prosecutors of defrauding the authorities of almost 15 million Euros.
According to a statement in Spanish released by his public relations firm, the 32-year-old Ronaldo told the judge: “I have never hidden anything, and never tried to avoid taxes,” reports the New York Times.
Ronaldo is accused of defrauding Spanish authorities of €14.7m (£12.95m) between 2011 and 2014.
As per reports, the prosecutor's office, in a statement, said Ronaldo had knowingly used a "business structure" created in 2010 to hide his income in Spain from his image rights.
The alleged irregularities were in relation to money the Portuguese star had in the Virgin Islands, although officials acknowledged adjustments to this structure in 2014, where the player paid back an extra seven million Euros in tax.
However, the 32-year-old denies any wrongdoing.
“Spain’s tax office knows all the details about my sources of income because we have reported them…I always file my tax returns because I think that we should all file and pay our taxes,” Ronaldo told the judge as per his statement.
“Those who know me know that I tell my consultants that they must have everything in order and paid up to date because I don’t want trouble,” he added.
Last summer, Barcelona legend Lionel Messi also faced similar charges for which he and his father convicted.
Messi and his father Jorge Horacio Messi were handed the jail term last July after they were charged with three counts of tax fraud, which amounted to 4.1 million Euros.