Cristiano Ronaldo got the last laugh over critics and Leo Messi’s die-hard fans after FIFA pronounced the Real Madrid star as winner of this year’s Ballon d’Or.
Image: Cristiano Ronaldo
However, the Portugal international footballer says his joy was overshadowed by the recent tax evasion allegations.
The 31-year-old was saddened after media reports surfaced last week, claiming that the Football Leaks website has released documents which proves that CR7 had avoided tax payments to the Spanish authorities.
Ronaldo was accused of using an Irish holding company to launder millions of euros in undeclared revenue.
During his interview with France Football after winning a fourth coveted individual trophy, he told reporters at Santiago Bernabeu: “Of course it has spoiled it a little bit. I would be lying if I said it hadn’t. I’m not a hypocrite.
“I don’t always say what I think, because sometimes it works against me. But of course I wasn’t pleased. The whole process in itself, and it’s not necessary to say where all that started, is hard not only for me, but also for the people alongside me: my family, my son, all those who work with me. My son goes to school. He’s starting to understand things.
“All that irritates me, because I try to do things correctly, be transparent. You just have to type ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’ on the Internet, and you know everything about me.
“I don’t have any reason to lie. Everything is written about me, about my girlfriends… what came out troubles me. Because it’s not true. The lie is troubling.
“But I’m a little bit used to people talking about me, for better or for worse. You have to live with it.
“When people talk about my private life, my friends, the place I went on holiday, whether or not I have a girlfriend, it’s normal.
“But when it’s something serious like this, that has to do with the law… I have my lawyers, the club, the people who work for me. It hurts me, because we always try to do things well.
“When they speak about me, and the way in which they do that, I don’t feel good. Because I have done things correctly. There are a lot of innocent people in prison. And I feel a little bit like that. You know you have done nothing wrong, and they say you have done something reprehensible. No one likes that.”
“But the truth always comes out. Sooner or later,” ESPN reported.