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Ronaldo to leave Real Madrid amid tax evasion charges?

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Real Madrid have been rocked by the news that their star player has expressed a desire to leave the club, as per Sky sources, but just how much of this information can be taken to the bank.

By Carlo Chikomba

The Los Blancos forward has reportedly informed sources close to him of his desire to leave Real Madrid because he does not want to play in Spain any more.

Apparently, sources close to the former Manchester United winger claim that Ronaldo is angry about the way he has been treated by Spanish tax authorities after Spanish prosecutors accused the multiple Ballon D’or winner of avoiding £14.7m in tax.

Well, this is not the first time authorities in Spain have accused a La Liga star of evading tax with the likes of Lionel Messi and Francis Neymar having also borne the brunt of the taxmen’s accusations in recent times. Guess they seem to have a thing for football stars.

However, it is worth noting that the Spanish authorities are generally pretty strict about their taxes and are quite known for scrutinizing famous celebrities just so they can get their point across to the rest of the Spanish population.

Therefore, with this in mind, leaving the country would seemingly be a wise business move for the Portugal captain who is facing allegations of four counts of tax fraud relating to image rights payments.

Settling in a new country would mean that Ronaldo no longer has to deal with these frequent tax evasion charges and would therefore maintain a somewhat good public image which in turn would attract more endorsements.

On the other hand, this is a man who has just won his third Champions League title with Real Madrid on his way to helping the club establish themselves as the “Super Club” of European football as they became the only club in the Champions League era to retain the title.

There is no doubt that Madrid are at the very apex of European football and, having also won the La Liga title, one gets the feeling that a move anywhere else would be a step down for the star.

Speaking to Sky sports on Friday, Kaveh Solhekol, a close source of the Madrid forward said that this development could be one of three things.

“It’s either we take this at face value, that he genuinely wants to leave the Santiago Bernabeu. The other reason could be that he is just using the media to generate support for him with an aim to somehow sway court officials into viewing him as a victim of false persecution. The third reason could be that he is simply angling for a contract renewal.” Said Solhekol.

Well, the third reason seems a bit far-fetched though, with Christiano having signed a new contract about six months ago so therefore realistically, we’re left with two possibly reasons: Either it’s a publicity stunt or he really wants to leave.

Ronaldo certainly has had his fair share of on-the-field antics but he is not generally known for manipulating the public off the field, though as his famous phrase goes “You never know”.

If it is indeed a publicity stunt, then it’s quite a good one judging from the overwhelming negative shout outs the Spanish tax authorities have been getting on social media as of late.

But if the 32 year old really wants to leave, he would definitely command a hefty transfer fee that would most certainly dwarf the current record transfer fee, and speaking of record transfers one particular club comes into mind: Manchester United!

The English club has for a long time flirted with the idea of bringing back arguably one of the best stars to have ever graced Old Trafford with the player himself constantly speaking fondly of his affection for the Red Devils.

Well, they do have the financial muscle to pull it off, but that brings us back to the point we discussed earlier on……leaving a Champions League winning team for a Europa League winning one would certainly be the poetic interpretation of the phrase “a step down”.

Conclusively, whether Christiano Ronaldo will actually leave Real Madrid or not, only time will tell. But in the meantime we let our audience be the judge of that. Kudos!

Tongai Mwenje

Tongai Mwenje is a Senior Editor with Zimbabwe's largest online sports magazine Sportbrief www.sportbrief.co.zw. He has been writing professionally since 2012 and currently writes for technology and sport blogs. He has vast experience in digital marketing, sports reporting and analysis. He is also a Sports and Technology columnist with Financial Gazette Online Sports Column and Technology Magazine respectively.

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