Spain has attracted arguably the brightest lights of world football, with Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Neymar all plying their skills in La Liga.
But in recent times, football fans are becoming used to seeing those stars caught up in accusations of tax fraud and other financial crimes by the Spanish courts.
On Tuesday, Manchester United coach, Jose Mourinho was also accused of defrauding Spain of €3.3m (£2.9m; $3.6m) in taxes between 2011 and 2012, making the list longer.
Below are big name players recently accused of fraud in Spain as compiled by NigeriaBulletin:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo: First on the list is Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, who played under Mourinho and shares the same agent as him. The player is accused of defrauding tax authorities of €14.7m, by also hiding his income from image rights. He denies the accusations and is threatening to leave Spain. The Portuguese-born star is set to give evidence in his case on 31 July.
2. Lionel Messi: Barcelona and Argentina footballer who has been handed a 21-month jail term. His father Jorge, who manages his finances, was also convicted
3. Javier Mascherano: Barcelona defender – also an Argentine – admitted tax fraud, escaping a jail term with a one-year suspended sentence
4. Neymar: Barcelona and Brazilian star is also facing allegations of corruption and fraud over his transfer to the Spanish club in 2013 – a case which also involves his parents. Prosecutors allege the transfer cost much more than publicly declared, and that millions were concealed from authorities
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