Cristiano Ronaldo has decided to quit Spain and has already informed Real Madrid president Florentino Perez of his ‘irreversible’ decision, according to a report in his native Portugal.
A Bola newspaper says Ronaldo has been “outraged” by the decision of Spanish prosecutors to charge him with tax fraud over an alleged failure to pay €14.7 million in income earned through image rights between 2011 and 2014.
Asked about the charge while on international duty with Portugal, Ronaldo merely responded: “I have a clear conscience”, and he has had the strong public backing of his club, who issued a statement saying they had “full confidence” in their all-time record goalscorer.
But Ronaldo, who joined Madrid for a then world record £80m in 2009, has decided that his future lies away from Spain after being taken to court by the nation’s tax authorities, according to A Bola, which splashed the news on its front page.
Ronaldo has recently been linked with a huge €200m exit from Real Madrid, with both Paris Saint-Germain and former club Manchester United said to be interested in the player who has won three Champions Leagues in four years in the Spanish capital.
The news was picked up by leading Spanish football publication Marca, which carried the news at the top of its website on Friday morning and confirmed the initial reports from Portugal. Marca also said that Real Madrid were doing everything in their power to try and change Ronaldo's mind.