Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from Spain was born of anger, regrets and caution, following his prolonged tax issues with the Spanish tax authorities.
In a new report published by El Mundo, the tax evasion case which led to Ronaldo’s exit from Real Madrid in July 2018 was traced to May 2017, when the Spanish tax office started a series of tax-related discussions and investigations on the famous footballer.
An insider revealed that, for fear of lawsuits, Ronaldo visited the home of his agent Jorge Mendes in May 2017 for discussions, adding that the former Manchester United player claims innocence on all charges.
‘My advisors were there when I met Jorge [Mendes],’ the 33-year-old striker said. ‘I didn’t want to take any risks regarding non-payment of due taxes.
‘I am not an accountant. The only career I’ve had is football but I’m not daft…I don’t trust anyone.’
He continued, ‘I’ve always paid my assessors more than 30 percent of their asking wages because I hate troubles.’
Ronaldo’s lawyer, Carlos Osorio, who was also at the meeting with Jorge, explained that the fiscal issues were under control and urged the accused person not to worry. Eventually, the famous No. 7 was asked to sign a pact with Spanish authorities few months later, an unavoidable arrangement which infuriated him.
‘I never instructed you not to pay taxes!’ he referred to his evaluators. ‘This is strange. I want to understand exactly what happened…For now, I’m totally confused and can’t grasp why I stand accused when taxes are supposed to be paid by my revenuers.’
Ronaldo’s anger flared with claims that Madrid management board offered no help in the matter.
Having had to pay back a huge sum of money, he expected an improved contract that would cushion the unexpected financial hit but felt betrayed by Madrid’s decision to stand aloof unlike what Barcelona did for Lionel Messi, who also had a similar problem.
Although Ronaldo’s rift with Madrid worsened after Neymar’s switch to Paris Saint-German moved the Brazilian ahead in global salary rankings, the fact that Messi received double his wages at Barca infuriated the Portuguese even more.
He was so disenchanted that Zinedine Zidane noticed he often discussed such issues in the dressing room. Zizou reportedly asked Madrid directors to review and address the matter but his opinion didn’t count.
Ronaldo had more problems with Madrid. He was disappointed that after a trophy-laden career with Los Blancos, club records and fans always rank Alfredo Di Stefano ahead of him as Real Madrid’s Best Player of all time.
‘There’s nothing I can do to change that…They’ve always loved me playing the second-fiddle,’ the disgruntled player is believed to have said.
Considered as one of the greatest soccer players of all time, Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or award (presented annually to the world’s best male player) a record five times with Lionel Messi.