Real Madrid: Cristiano will prove innocence over tax allegations

"The accused made use of a corporate structure created in 2010 to hide from the tax authority income generated in Spain through image rights", prosecutors said in a statement.

"The Public Prosecutor has filed today a complaint against Cristiano Ronaldo and not a claim, which implies a substantial change", the statement read.

In December, leaked documents suggested that Ronaldo had avoided tax on income allegedly held in offshore accounts.

Real Madrid have declared that they are "absolutely convinced" that Cristiano Ronaldo will demonstrate his innocence over allegations of tax evasion.

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Ronaldo is accused of "four crimes against the public treasury between 2011-14... which involves tax fraud of 14,768,897 euros", Madrid's public prosecutor's office said on Tuesday.

Prosecutors alleged that Ronaldo had defrauded the tax authorities of €1.4m in 2011, €1.7m in 2012, €3.2m in 2013 and €8.5m in 2014.

It said that the footballer had not hidden any income from the tax authorities or defrauded Spain. "All contractual modifications ... have been made to guarantee that the incomes [Ronaldo derives] fully observe Spanish tax regulations". This came from the cession of image rights from 2015-20 to another company located in Spain.

The Portuguese has since denied the accusation and his representatives Gestifute issued a lengthy statement strongly denying the accusation.

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A four-time Ballon d'Or victor, the 32-year-old is Europe's leading soccer player.

In one high-profile case Barcelona's Lionel Messi was handed a 21-month jail sentence and a 2.1-million-euro fine after being convicted on tax-fraud charges previous year.

The former Manchester United player has helped Real Madrid to back-to-back Champions League titles and its first Spanish league in five seasons, in addition to being a part of Portugal's winning squad at last year's European Championship.

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