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Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso acquitted of tax evasion charges
27 November 2019 @ 13:34

REAL Madrid's Xabi Alonso has been cleared of 'tax evasion' offences that saw him facing up to two-and-a-half years in prison.

Xabi, 38, who has now retired and is manager of Real Sociedad in San Sebastián (Basque Country), was accused of three counts of tax fraud relating to his income in 2010, 2011 and 2012, totalling nearly €2 million.

Along with the former midfielder, his accountant Iván Zaldúa and the director of a firm in the Portuguese island of Madeira, Ignasi Mestre, have also been acquitted.

Xabi ceded his image rights – royalties for the use of his face in publicity – to the Madeira company in 2009 and, according to the provincial court of Madrid, he took Zaldúa's advice not to declare these earnings because he 'took a more advantageous taxation structure option'.

This involved ceding his royalties for five years to the company in exchange for €5m, since taxes in Madeira are lower.

He was accused of simulating the operation in order to avoid paying taxes at all.

Although one of a long list of footballers, artists, and other top celebrities falling foul of the Spanish tax system, Xabi is the first to have been completely cleared and the only one to have refused to strike a deal with the prosecution, instead insisting on his innocence.



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