Paris-based football star Ali Benarbia told to repay 4m euros in tax after claiming he lived in Qatar

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Ali Benarbia, the former Manchester City and Monaco player who became a prominent television sports pundit on French television and radio, has been told to pay back taxes of just under 4 million euros by the French tax authorities. Mediapart has learnt that the former Algerian international was paid via a fictitious company in Qatar and claimed to be living in the Middle Eastern country. In fact, he and his family were resident in Paris, tax investigators found. Yann Philippin and Matthieu Suc report.

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Ali Benarbia is a familiar figure to football fans, including supporters of Manchester City in the English Premier League. The Algerian international was one of the best attacking midfielders in France's top flight of football, Ligue 1, in the 1990s. He won the league title with Monaco and then Bordeaux, before joining Paris Saint-Germain in 1999 and then Manchester City two years later. He went on to spend three lucrative years between 2003 and 2006 in Qatar before retiring from playing at the age of 37.