Cristiano Ronaldo Pays Hefty Fine Amid Charges of Tax Evasion

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo reached a deal with a Madrid court over tax evasion charges today.

The Juventus forward was ordered to pay 18.8 million euros ($21.3 million) — a hefty fee, but one that prevented a prison sentence.

Under Spanish law, a first-time offender can serve under probation for anything under two years. Ronaldo faced the prospect of 23 months in the slammer but was able to get the sentence suspended.

The 33-year-old’s tax evasion allegations began in 2017, when he played for Real Madrid. At a July 2017 trial, the Portuguese-born player denied any wrongdoing amid accusations that he purposefully hid earnings from the Spanish government between 2011 and 2014. A state prosecutor alleged that he had committed four counts of tax fraud, worth a total of 14.7 million euros ($16.7 million).

Today, he spent less than an hour in court, as he simply needed to sign off on an agreement that had previously been reached.

In 2018 alone, the World Cup winner earned a staggering $108 million, according to Forbes. He earns around $35 million per season under his Juventus contract — but the main income generator for him is sponsorships.

From Nike alone, Ronaldo has a lifetime deal that is reported to be worth more than $1 billion. The Portuguese national team captain is one of the most well-recognized athletes in the world, with the most Instagram followers (152.4 million) of any user.

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