.Ronaldo: Set to leave Real Madrid? –
Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly wishes to leave Spain amid allegations the four-time Ballon d’Or-winner defrauded the Spanish authorities of €14.7 million (£12.8 million) in tax.
Madrid-based newspaper Marca cited a front-page report from Portuguese daily A Bola, which also reported that Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain or AS Monaco would “lose their heads for the best player in the world.”
Ronaldo has “personally communicated” to Real president Florentino Perez and director general Jose Angel Sanchez his intention to leave the Santiago Bernabeu, per Marca’s Jose Felix Diaz, who also confirmed A Bola’s report.
Real aren’t keen on the idea of allowing Ronaldo his wish to depart, however, and are “trying to calm him down” in the hope he’ll remain, but it’s added Los Merengues “will not hold anyone against his will.”
Football writer Adam Joseph provided a look at the A Bola cover in question, with Ronaldo the most high-profile case of alleged tax evasion in La Liga thus far following a string of court cases in recent years.
In July last year, Barcelona ace Lionel Messi and his father, Jorge, were found guilty of three counts of tax fraud amounting to €4.1 million (£3.5 million). The former lost his appeal against a 21-month jail prison sentence in May, per Sky Sports.
In comparison, the accusations lobbied against Ronaldo are far more significant, which appears to have taken its toll on the Real maestro.
Of those big-spending suitors aforementioned, United would appear the most likely club to capitalise considering Ronaldo’s past at the Manchester club.
Reuters explained Ronaldo is accused of hiding income made from his image rights between 2011 and 2014, and Complex noted any wrongdoing comes just as the player is reaching his marketing peak.
It’s an awkward time for Los Blancos if Ronaldo wants to leave. Having just led the team to a third UEFA Champions League in four seasons and a La Liga title, it’s clear he’s still one of the best players in the world, which would undoubtedly still make him an expensive target.
However, Ronaldo is 32, and it’s difficult to ascertain what he would hold in terms of resale value, although Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones recently highlighted there are other options outside Europe.