A lawsuit had been filed against Cristiano Ronaldo after Madrid’s regional state prosecutor have accused the Portuguese star of defrauding €14.8m in unpaid taxes between 2011 and 2014.
Ronaldo is said to have earned $93m from salary, bonuses and endorsements last year.
When asked about that investigation, the Real Madrid star told a journalist from Radio Television Portuguesa (RTP) “Quien no debe no teme”, which roughly translates as “He who has nothing to hide has no fear.”
Ronaldo, who is the world’s highest-paid sportsperson for the second successive year according to Forbes, was accused of knowingly using a “business structure” to hide income made from his image rights.
Spanish prosecutors alleged that Ronaldo used what the prosecutor considered a shell company in the Virgin Islands to “create a screen in order to hide his total income from Spain’s tax office”, adding that Ronaldo “intentionally” did not declare income of €28.4m related to image rights, and declared €11.5m of earnings from 2011-14 when his real income was almost €43m.
It was also alleged that the Portuguese had falsely reported income as coming from real estate, which it said had greatly reduced his tax rate.
Ronaldo’s agents, GestiFute, had previously maintained he was up to date on his taxes. Additionally, the organization publicized details of Ronaldo’s £191m assets in response to allegations of tax evasion last December, but tax officials said that Ronaldo had since adjusted his tax declarations and paid an extra €6m (£5.3m) in 2014.
In a statement on Tuesday GestiFute said: “There is no offshore structure for evading taxes … [Cristiano Ronaldo has never] had a tax problem, contrary to what the Spanish prosecutors insinuate. All contractual modifications … have been made to guarantee that the incomes [Ronaldo derives] fully observe Spanish tax regulations.”