Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly accepted a $21 million fine and suspended prison term to settle down his charges on tax evasion. The outcome is a result of a deal he made with Spanish tax authorities. The star footballer, who interestingly faces Spain on June 15, was accused last year of defrauding on his taxes worth $18 million. Ronaldo reportedly offered to pay a sum of $17 million, but that offer was rejected by the Spanish government.
Ronaldo currently earns around $93 million a year, according to a report on Forbes, with about half of it coming from his sponsors. Courts in Spain have begun a crackdown on leading footballers suspected of tax evasion.
According to reports, Ronaldo is not likely to serve jail-time under the deal made with Spanish tax authorities. The law states that any sentence that is under two years for a first offence can be served up by probation.
In 2017, Lionel Messi was awarded a 21-month jail term for a similar charge but he was able to exchange it for a fine, according to ESPN. Foreign players operating in Spain were shielded under the Beckham law which allowed them to reduce their taxes. But as the financial crisis deepened, Spain removed the law.