Madrid - Cristiano Ronaldo, hounded by allegations of tax
evasion in Spain, is "delighted" to be staying at Real Madrid,
according to club president Florentino Perez, who called claims that the
Portuguese striker might leave the country exaggerated.
"As he said a little while back, he's delighted to be
here. No one is better placed than him to say that," Perez told Cadena Ser
Ronaldo strongly denied having evaded €14.7 million in tax
on his image rights when he appeared in court in a preliminary hearing on July
Prosecutors accuse the Real Madrid star of evading tax via a
shell company based in the British Virgin Islands and another in Ireland, known
for low corporate tax rates.
In addition, they say Ronaldo only declared €11.5 million
euros of Spanish-related income from 2011 to 2014, while what he really earned
during that time was close to €43 million.
They also accuse him of "voluntarily" refusing to
include €28.4 million euros in income linked to the sale of his image rights
for the 2015 to 2020 period to a Spanish company.
The four-time World Player of the Year, 32, has been heavily
critical of the probe into him, leading to rumours that he might seek to quit
"I don't know what happened this summer," Perez
said. "A Bola (newspaper) published a story, on what a teammate might have
said (about Ronaldo leaving)... In the end, there was nothing.
"As there was not much to talk about this summer, they
exaggerated," Perez said, conceding however that "Cristiano was angry
about this tax problem, having been summoned, that's not nice for anyone."
Perez added that there was nothing in the case against Ronaldo
"that would constitute a crime".
"He's hidden nothing and if there's no hiding, there's
no crime," he said.
"It's possible there's a different interpretation
(between Ronaldo's advisers and tax authorities) and he's cool and collected on