Cristiano Ronaldo is on top of the world right now after winning the Champions League for the third time in four years, but he might not be for long.
Spain's prosecutor's office in Madrid said on Tuesday it had filed a lawsuit against Cristiano Ronaldo for allegedly defrauding Spanish authorities of approximately €14.7 million between 2011 and 2014 on four separate accounts of tax evasion.
In a statement, the prosecutor's office alluded that while Ronaldo did not manipulate his own money, he certainly knew that people were.
They allege Ronaldo had knowingly used a "business structure" created in 2010 to hide his income in Spain from his image rights via various endorsements.
It was revealed back in March that the appeal against longtime rival Lionel Messi’s tax evasion case had been rejected by a Spanish court, meaning a 21-month jail sentence is inevitable.
However, Messi will escape seeing a cell because, for this offence in Spain, a sentence under two years is not served inside. However, Ronaldo would not be so lucky if this lawsuit comes to fruition.
In essence, each crime appears to carry a minimum term of two years in jail if found guilty and the prosecutors will seek a minimum term of five years in jail because the Real Madrid hitman has three tax offences to his name starting in 2011 and two other tax offenses in 2012 and 2013.
Could Ronaldo really serve jail time? It seems high-level sportsmen and celebrities alike hardly see the inside of a prison for such problems and the Portuguese legend could surely pay off the outstanding issues.
Whether it is as easy as paying it off remains to be seen, though.
In the meantime, the 32-year-old is getting ready to lead Portugal in the Confederations Cup, a competition they entered by virtue of winning the European Championships in 2016.
It could cap off a remarkable 12 months for CR7 if they were to lift the trophy and a fifth Balon d'Or is almost certainly heading his way already.
However, unless he can prove his innocence to these charges, the best year in his career might end with the worst moment of his life.
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