Tax Fraud: 'I feel like an innocent person in jail' – Ronaldo hits back at Football Leaks claims

The Portugal international faces claims that he avoided tax on image rights payments, and he is determined to clear his name.

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted that the uproar caused by the accusations published by Football Leaks has taken the shine off his fourth Ballon d’Or title.

Ronaldo edged out Lionel Messi to the award on Monday, after a year in which he lifted both the Champions League and the Euro 2016 title.

But he confessed that allegations of tax evasion made by the group have caused him great consternation.

“Of course it ruined my pleasure [after winning the Ballon d’Or], it would be lying to say no,” he explained in an interview with France Football.

“I am not a hypocrite; it didn’t do anything good to me. The whole process is hard not only for me, but also for the people who are with me: my family, my son, all those who work with me.

“My son goes to school and begins to understand things. Try to do things well, to be transparent – I dont have any reason to lie.”

According to the allegations, Ronaldo used offshore companies to avoid taxation on image rights payments.

But he used the example of wrongly convicted prisoners to state his anxiety.

“When you talk about my private life, my friends, the place I went on vacation, the fact that I have or don’t gace a girlfriend, that’s normal. But when it comes to something serious like this, which is related to legal matters?” he fired.

“I have my lawyers, the club, the people who work for me… It hurt me because we always try to do things well. When they talk about me, and the way they do it, I don’t feel good.

“There are a lot of innocent people in prison, and I feel like that. You know you didn’t do anything wrong, and they tell you that you did something reprehensible. It can’t please anyone.”

With four Ballons d’Or Ronaldo is second only to Messi in the competition’s history, with the Argentine having held the award on a record five occasions.



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