The Panama connection in Cristiano Ronaldo's tax affairs

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Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is threatening to leave Spain if its justice system proves too troublesome for him over his tax affairs. The Real Madrid star, who faces an investigation into alleged tax evasion, insists that he has acted in good faith and says that all his fiscal arrangements were authorised. To back this claim, he and his advisors point to the fact that the authorities in England had no problem with his fiscal set-up when he played for Manchester United. But according to new documents from the whistle-blowing platform Football Leaks, and revealed here by Mediapart, there are now question marks over this line of defence. Michaël Hajdenberg and Yann Philippin report.

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Just days after the prosecution authorities in Madrid launched proceedings against football star Cristiano Ronaldo for alleged tax fraud, Mediapart and the journalistic consortium European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) publish new documents which appear to undermine his defence. Contrary to what he claims, the Real Madrid star has indeed used several different tax structures, including a foundation in Panama whose existence Mediapart and the EIC can reveal. If so, the Portuguese international would appear not to have told the truth to the Spanish tax authorities on this issue.