Cristiano Ronaldo has suggested that he will remain tight-lipped over allegations that he defrauded the Spanish tax office of €14.7million (£12.9m).
Ronaldo's representatives have denied the allegations and insisted that their client's taxes are in order, while Real Madrid have also thrown their support behind the superstar forward and backed him to prove his innocence.
Real Madrid earlier gave their backing to Ronaldo, releasing a statement saying the club had "full confidence in our player Cristiano Ronaldo, who we understand has acted in accordance with the legality regarding the fulfilment of his fiscal obligations".
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has been accused of knowingly using a business structure to hide his income in image rights worth a total of €14.7 million.More news: Blimp goes down at US Open
In 2016, Barcelona's Lionel Messi, who for the last decade has vied with Ronaldo for the title of world's best footballer, was fined $2.3 million for defrauding the Spanish tax authorities. "There has never been any hiding nor any intention to hide anything", Gestifute, the agency representing the player, said in a statement.
Gestifute said it would publish documents to show that the 32-year-old had not created such a structure and had used firms he owned since his time at Manchester United that British and Spanish tax authorities had been aware of. Spain's prosecutor's office described his failure to pay the correct tax as "conscious and willing".
Prosecutors accuse the Portugal global of evading tax via a shell company based in the British Virgin Islands and another in Ireland, known for its low corporate tax rate. Tollin Associates itself had no business activity, the statement said.
The Argentine, 29, had also received a 21-month jail sentence but avoided prison as it was the forward's first offense.