Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is “upset” after being accused of tax fraud and wants to leave, a source close to the player told the BBC. Spanish prosecutors have accused Ronaldo, 32, of defrauding the authorities of millions of euros in tax, which he has denied.
“He feels he’s honest, has good character and did everything OK,” added the source. His Real contract has a 1bn euro (£874.88m) release clause.
The source added: “He’s very sad and really upset. He doesn’t want to stay in Spain. At this moment, he wants to leave.”
Ronaldo, who joined Real from Manchester United for 80m in 2009, signed a five-year deal with the European champions in November 2016.
China would be one potential destination but the Portuguese forward’s advisers would prefer for him to stay in Europe, most likely either moving to Paris St-Germain or returning to the Premier League.
Ronaldo, who has helped Real win the Champions League three times and La Liga twice, is accused of evading tax to the value of 14.7m euros (£13m; $16m) between 2011 and 2014.
Real Madrid have released a statement saying they had “full confidence” in their player, and that they were convinced he would prove his innocence. In 2016-17, Ronaldo helped Real win the Spanish title for the first time since 2012 as well as retain the Champions League.
Ronaldo, who also won the Champions League with Manchester United in 2008, has scored a record 105 goals in the competition, 11 more than Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, his nearest challenger. (BBC Sport)