‘Cristiano is innocent’ – Ronaldo in tax row backed by La Liga chief

The Real Madrid forward has been accused of evading many millions of euros in payments, with the issue leading him to seek a move away from Spain

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo has been backed by the president of the Spanish Football League in his tax evasion case.

The Portuguese forward is accused of evading €14.7 million (£13m/$16.4m) in tax payments by Madrid’s criminal prosecution system.

Ronaldo is alleged to have committed four crimes between the years of 2011 and 2014 by hiding from the treasury the income generated in Spain by his image rights, which is a “voluntary and conscious” breach of one’s tax obligations in the country.

The issue has now come to a head, with the 32-year-old reported to have informed Madrid of his desire to leave the reigning La Liga and Champions League title holders amid an unwelcome off-field saga.

He has, however, received the support of LFP chief Javier Tebas, who has told La Sexta: “Knowing the environment and the professional that it is, I have no doubt that Cristiano is innocent.

“We live in a time when any news related to the Spanish treasury is to point out criminals. From what I have read, I am convinced that there is no crime.”

Tebas has also acknowledged that the LFP would suffer if Ronaldo does take the decision to leave Madrid, with the four-time Ballon d’Or winner a considerable presence in La Liga.

He added: “It is not possible to quantify, but would be very important.

“Even more so with the international growth of the League. It would be a great loss for us, an irreparable loss. ”

Ronaldo netted 42 goals in 46 appearances for Madrid in the 2016-17 campaign, with that haul taking him past 400 for the club, 500 in his club career as a whole and through 100 efforts in the Champions League.

Former employers Manchester United and big-spending Paris Saint-Germain are among those now keeping a close eye on his situation at Santiago Bernabeu.

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