Cristiano Ronaldo is facing four counts of fraud for tax evasion worth €14.7 million, committed between 2011 and 2014.
In court, his spokesperson said Ronaldo would not be making any statements.
The case against Ronaldo is still at the investigation stage, which means that no members of the public will be allowed inside the courtroom.
The 32-year-old player allegedly used a corporate structure created in 2010, the year after he signed with Real Madrid, in order to “conceal from tax authorities his income in Spain from his image rights.”
In the Virgin Islands alone he is thought to have deposited €150 million of income from his image rights.
Cristiano Ronaldo is not the first famous soccer player to face similar charges. On May 24, the Supreme Court ratified a conviction against Barça forward Lionel Messi for tax fraud. He was given a 21 month sentence which he is unlikely to have to serve He was also fined 2 million Euros.
Under Spanish legislation, evaded amounts upwards of €120,000 a year become a crime punishable with one to five years in prison. Cristiano Ronaldo’s alleged fraud surpassed this threshold every year between 2011 and 2014.
The player reportedly told fellow players on the Portuguese national team that he wanted to leave Spain because he felt as if he were being treated as a criminal.
Sorry pal but people who defraud the tax authorities ARE criminals and should be dealt with as such.