Buenos Aires Times

sports Tax evasion in Spanish football

Authorities seek five-year sentence for Xabi Alonso

If found guilty, Alonso would likely pay some hefty fines in the pattern of previous culprits such as Messi and Ronaldo.

Friday 23 March, 2018
Bayern Munich and Spanish national team midfielder Xabi Alonso listens to a question during a news conference in Madrid last April.
Bayern Munich and Spanish national team midfielder Xabi Alonso listens to a question during a news conference in Madrid last April. Foto:AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File

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Spanish prosecutors are seeking a five-year prison sentence for Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso for alleged tax fraud.

Prosecutors accuse Alonso of defrauding tax authorities of about US$2.4 million from 2010 to 2012. The retired Spain midfielder played for Madrid from 2009-14 and recently retired from the Spanish national team with 114 international appearances.

They also want Alonso to pay a fine of US$4.9 million, in addition to the amount allegedly defrauded. The irregularities are related to Alonso's income from image rights.

Prosecutors on Wednesday also sought prison sentences, fines and restitutions for Alonso's tax advisers at the time.

All those accused have denied wrongdoing.

The case against Alonso had initially been dismissed but was reopened earlier this year.

Alonso is just the latest in a long list of current and former players in Spanish football that Spanish tax authorities have investigated in recent years. That list includes Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who two years ago was found guilty — along with his father — of defrauding authorities of around US$5 million.

Other players investigated in Spain include Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Marcelo, Alexis Sánchez, Ricardo Carvalho, Angel Di María, Javier Mascherano, Radamel Falcao and Fábio Coentrão.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is being investigated for the time he worked at Real Madrid.

-TIMES/AP

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