by Michaela Cancela-Kieffer
Cristiano Ronaldo’s woes deepened when the star striker who reportedly wants to quit Real Madrid was summoned to appear before a judge investigating tax fraud. The 32-year-old who vowed never play for Real Madrid again, was ordered to appear in a Madrid court on July 31 to answer four counts of tax evasion of 14.7 million euro ($16.5m).
Spain’s Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro urged media to respect the presumption of innocence regarding the four-time world player of the year.
“What is very important for me is to insist that no one is a criminal if he is not convicted,” Montoro told a press conference. “That is why we must apply the principle of presumption of innocence in all areas.”
Unhappy Ronaldo has left his future at the Spanish giants in doubt after angrily announcing last week that his “conscience is clear.”
Spanish tax authorities are also targeting Jose Mourinho, the Manchester United manager who was on Tuesday accused of evading 3.3 million euro ($3.7 million) in tax during his stay at Real Madrid.
Montoro said, however, that sports stars must be “exemplary” and “particularly scrupulous in the fulfilment of their tax obligations” because their actions “radiate over the whole society, for example on youth, children”.
According to media reports Ronaldo is unsettled at Real Madrid because he believes the European champions did not back him as fully as he had hoped in his dispute with the taxman. (Agence France-Presse)
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