Cristiano Ronaldo ‘agreed to pay almost €19 million to avoid prison sentence’ in fraud case

Chloe Chaplain
The footballer has reportedly pleaded guilty to tax fraud: Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly agreed to plead guilty to tax fraud and pay almost €19 million in exchange for a prison sentence.

The Portugal and Real Madrid football star is going to admit to four counts of tax fraud that would carry a sentence of two years, Spanish media has revealed.

El Mundo reported that he is set to pay €18.8 million (£16.5 million) in exchange for the jail time, that would most likely be suspended.

In Spain prison sentences that are not over two years are often suspended for first-time offenders.

Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo scores a penalty during the Russia 2018 World Cup

In 2017 a Spanish state prosecutor accused Ronaldo of four counts of tax fraud from 2011-14 worth 14.7 million euro (£12.9 million).

The prosecutor accused Ronaldo of having used shell companies outside Spain to hide income made from image rights.

The accusation does not involve his salary from Real Madrid.

Ronaldo denied any wrongdoing when questioned by a judge last July.

Neither Spain's Tax Office, its Ministry of Justice nor people close to Ronaldo would confirm the existence of a deal.

But the reports emerged hours before Ronaldo scored three goals to give Portugal a 3-3 draw with Spain in their opening match of the World Cup in Russia.