Spain’s prosecutor’s office in Madrid said on Tuesday it had filed a lawsuit against Cristiano Ronaldo for allegedly defrauding Spanish authorities of £13m between 2011 and 2014.
In a statement, the prosecutor’s office said Ronaldo had knowingly used a ‘business structure’ created in 2010 to hide his income in Spain from his image rights.
The lawsuit is based on a report sent to the prosecutor’s office from Spain’s tax agency AEAT, it said.
Ronaldo is the highest paid sporting celebrity in the world according to Forbes, coming out on top with £73m ahead of LeBron James who totals £67.8m in earnings. His business empire is said to be worth a whopping £191m.
The Portugal captain signed a five-year deal worth £365,000-a-week after tax in November.
He also enjoys numerous lucrative sponsorship deals as brands cash in on his image as one of the most prominent sportsmen on the planet.
Ronaldo has been sponsored by Nike since 2003, and has worn more than 60 different versions of Nike’s Mercurial boots.
He has a long-term endorsement deal with Nike that sees him tied to the brand ‘for life’. Reports in America suggest the contract is similar to the $1billion lifetime agreement in place with NBA star LeBron James.