Will Real Madrid help Cristiano Ronaldo to avoid jail time in Spain?

Cristiano Ronaldo

According to the reports circulating arround Santiago Bernabéu, Cristiano Ronaldo has asked Real Madrid to pay his $35 million(440 million rand) Spanish tax bill to avoid jail time.

Ronaldo was hit with the tax bill after being found to have allegedly defrauded the Spanish government millions of EUROs and had subsequently struck a repayment deal with authorities.

Now he is reportedly asking the second richest soccer team in the world to settle the debt for him to avoid serving time in the Spanish prison.

The Portuguese is expected to lead his National side, Portugal at this summer’s World Cup in Russia if not arrested.

The 33-year-old is obliged to pay the fine in order to avoid a possible jail sentence. Ronaldo’s is the latest in a string of tax scandals centered on players in the Spanish top division, La Liga.

Lionel Messi and Neymar are two of the more high profile cases of players who have fallen foul of the Spanish tax system.

The Beckham Law

Footballing super-stars like Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar well all caught in the so-called ‘Beckham Law’ the tax incentivization scheme set up to attract talent across all commercial sectors, lowering the tax rate for a period of six years to 24% – around half of what Spaniards were expected to pay on six-figure salaries.

It was introduced following former England captain David Beckham’s big money transfer to Real Madrid in 2003.

However, this law was abolished in 2010 for salaries in excess of around $715,000 (R8.9 million), after which the authorities began an extensive investigation into offshore tax avoidance schemes.

According to reports, Ronaldo was growing unhappy at Santiago Bernabéu, feeling that the club was not supporting him effectively though his tax problems.