Last year, Barcelona legend Lionel Messi and his father were found guilty of similar tax-fraud charges in Spain, each of them receiving 21-month prison sentences that were not served because the country suspends the sentences of first-time offenders if the sentence is for less than two years. The court found Messi had funneled income earned from his image rights through countries such as Uruguay, Switzerland and Belize, evading more than 4 million euros in taxes from 2007 to 2009. The Argentine legend paid 5.1 million euros in back taxes in 2013, and he and his father also were fined 1.7 million and 1.4 million euros in fines after their guilty verdicts.
According to Forbes, Ronaldo is the world’s highest-paid athlete, with $58 million in salary and $35 million in endorsements in 2017. He led Real Madrid to the Spanish league championship this year and to a successful defense of their Champions League title. Last year, he helped Portugal win its first European championship.