Former Liverpool hero Xabi Alonso is acquitted of tax fraud in Madrid, where he faced five-year prison sentence
- Alonso was cleared on Tuesday by Madrid’s Audiencia Provincial Court
- Prosecutors had claimed he evaded nearly £2m in tax in image rights
- Former Liverpool star had consistently protested his innocence
- He was the only player in a long list to opt for a trial rather than pay the treasury
Xabi Alonso arrives to attend a court hearing for tax evasion in Madrid on January 22, 2019. he was cleared today
Former Liverpool hero Xabi Alonso was today acquitted of tax fraud in Madrid, where he faced a five-year prison sentence.
Alonso, who won the Champions League in his first season with Liverpool, was tried for three counts of tax fraud state prosecutors said he had committed between 2010 and 2012. He was playing for Real Madrid at the time.
The case revolved around nearly £2million prosecutors claimed Alonso evaded in tax from image rights.
Alonso, 37, has consistently protested his innocence and was the only one of a long list of footballers accused of tax fraud in Spain who decided to go to trial instead of paying the Spanish Treasury the tax it was claiming plus fines.
His trial ended last month and he was facing two and a half years in prison after state prosecutors lowered their initial demand that he be jailed for five.
News he had been cleared was confirmed Tuesday by Madrid’s Audiencia Provincial Court in a 30-page ruling.
The 37-year-old talks with head coach Pep Guardiola (right) during his playing days for Bayern Munich in February 2016. He retired in 2017
It was not immediately clear if the decision, taken by three trial judges, would be appealed by state prosecutors.
Cristiano Ronaldo admitted tax fraud in January and agreed to pay a £16.5 million fine after striking a deal with Spanish prosecutors and tax authorities in return for a 23-month suspended prison sentence.
The 34-year-old had been accused of defrauding the authorities of £12.9 million in unpaid taxes between 2011 and 2014.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho also did a deal with Spanish authorities which involved him paying a fine of nearly £2million and admitting tax fraud to escape prison.