Spain’s Ministry of Finance has made clear that it could pursue Cristiano Ronaldo to Italy by activating a warrant for his arrest, if he does not settle the tax issue, having left Real Madrid to Italian giants, Juventus.
Ronaldo has been involved in a long battle with the Spanish treasury over a tax issue, although it was understood in June that a settlement agreement had been reached.
Jose Maria Mollinedo, secretary general of GESTHA, maintains that the transfer to Serie A changes no part of Ronaldo’s situation.
“Juventus signing Ronaldo will not change his problems with the Treasury, even in Italy a warrant for his arrest could be activated,” he explained in an interview with Europa Press.
“His lawyers will continue to defend him in Spanish courts. There is also the European Court of Justice for this case.”
It will also be made clear to the former Manchester United forward that the date of his signature with the Italian champions will need to be noted in case he attempts to pay income tax for non-residents rather than residents’ income tax.
On June 15, it was announced that an agreement had been reached with the State Bar to end the judicial process in which Ronaldo was involved.
The then Real Madrid forward acknowledged four fiscal offences before the Tax Agency, meaning a two-year prison sentence and a fine of 18.8 million euros.
According to information from ‘El Mundo,’ with this accord, which only needs to be rubber-stamped by the new director of the Tax Agency, Ronaldo can ditch all of his fiscal problems, both criminal and administrative.
Of course, there is still an issue to be discussed as a small detail is missing in the agreement with the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Ronaldo demands that the two years in prison is replaced by a further fine and that the penalty be suspended, which poses a risk to him in the future if he has problems of a criminal nature.
Many people believe that the threat of jail term and the never-ending issue with Spain’s taxmen, played a role in the Portuguese decision to leave Real for Juventus, Real Madrid’s refusal to meet Ronaldo’s demand for salary increment completely, was the main reason for his shocking departure.
The five-times World Best Player is not the only one who has issues with the taxmen in Spain. Lionel Messi, Neymar and Javier Mascherano have all had their share of trouble with the taxmen.
Mascherano, then with Barcelona, received a one-year suspended prison sentence for tax fraud.
In 2016, Messi and his father, Jorge, were convicted of defrauding the Spanish state of €4.1m (£3.6m; $4.6m) in unpaid taxes on the striker’s image rights, controlled by offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay in 2016.
The pair were both handed 21-month jail terms in a ruling later confirmed by Spain’s supreme court.
Also in 2016, prosecutors asked for a two-year sentence and a €10m fine for Neymar, who was cleared of fraud but ordered to stand trial over alleged corruption in his 2013 move from Brazilian club Santos to Barcelona.
Ronaldo became the third and final member of the elite La Liga trio to face criminal accusations after prosecutors announced they were pursuing the 32-year-old former Manchester United man on four counts of tax fraud.