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Xabi Alonso: Former Real Madrid star accused of tax fraud

The case dates back to 2010, when Mr Alonso was playing for Real Madrid



Former Liverpool and Real Madrid star Xabi Alonso is facing a possible five-year jail term after Spanish authorities accused him of tax fraud.

Prosecutors say he owes nearly €2m ($2.4m; £1.7m) in tax related to earnings from his image rights that he failed to declare.

The income relates to the period from 2010 to 2012, when the former Spanish international was playing for Real Madrid.

Mr Alonso, 36, denies any wrongdoing.

The same sentence is being sought for the player's financial adviser, Ivan Zaldua, as well as the manager of the Portuguese company he allegedly used to avoid tax.

Prosecutors are also seeking a fine of €4m and demanding Mr Alonso pays back the sum that was allegedly denied to the Spanish tax office.

The Madrid court in charge of the investigation reopened the case in 2017 and said the allegations against Mr Alonso had been "sufficiently substantiated".

The midfielder, who joined Real Madrid in 2009, is the latest in a string of footballers to be pursued by the Spanish tax authorities.

Last month, Manchester United striker Alexis Sanchez accepted a 16-month suspended jail sentence for tax fraud in return for avoiding a trial.

Other footballers who have been accused of tax fraud in Spain include:

Real Madrid player Marcelo, who was accused of tax fraud totalling €490,000 (£436,000; $576,000) in a case dating back to 2013.

Barcelona and Argentina footballer Lionel Messi, who was handed a 21-month suspended jail term. His father Jorge, who manages his finances, was also convicted

Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano - also an Argentine - who admitted tax fraud, escaping a jail term with a one-year suspended sentence

Former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, who was arrested in May 2017 as part of a money-laundering investigation

Real Madrid and Portugal player Cristiano Ronaldo, who denies the accusation of evading millions of euros

Manchester United manager José Mourinho, who is accused of irregularities while he was Real Madrid coach from 2011 to 2012, which he denies

-- Courtesy of BBC Sport


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