When Ronaldo's goal was to escape taxes

By Michael Hajdenberg, Michel Henry, Yann Philippin

Beginning in 2008, Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo channelled just under 150 million euros earned from commercial deals into the Caribbean tax haven of the British Virgin Islands and in Switzerland, according to documents from the whistle-blowing platform Football Leaks and revealed by Mediapart and its media partners in the European Investigative Collaborations consortium. After first avoiding the scrutiny of the Spanish tax authorities, the Real Madrid player wound down the offshore company involved in the scheme, escaping a potential tax payment of 31 million euros. Michael Hajdenberg, Michel Henry and Yann Philippin report.

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From 2008 and over a period of seven years, Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo used a system elaborated by his agent Jorge Mendes to send into tax havens a total of 149.5 million euros he earned from commercial deals, according to documents from the Football Leaks whistle-blowing platform, accessed by German weekly magazine Der Spiegel and jointly analysed by the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC), a consortium of European investigative media that includes Mediapart.