Today, everybody is asking what is happening with Xabi Alonso, the truth is that the former Liverpool and Real Madrid star is having legal problems since he is being investigated and accused by Spanish authorities for tax fraud.
According to the Spanish Public Ministry, Alonso did not disclose the full amount of money he was being paid in image rights during his time as a Real Madrid player, which, according to prosecutors, led to a fraud of £1.75m between 2010 and 2012.
Prosecutors are seeking 5 years in jail for the football star. However, not only Alonso is facing this legal battle, also authorities want the same sentence to be applied to Ivan Zaldua Azcuenaga who is Alonso’s financial advisor; and Ignasi Maestre Casanova, he administrator of consultancy shell company.
This case for not declaring all his tax on image rights was initially opened in 2015, but it was shelved. What Spanish authorities have explained is that they found out that Xabi Alonso had sold his image rights to a firm based in Madeira. According to them, this was an operation that in the Tax Agency’s opinion, was a “simulation”. After some investigation, authorities said Madeira is not tax haven and that the only thing the player did was take advantage of “the expertise” of his advisers to find the most advantageous solution to their interests
However, earlier this year the case has been reopened because it has been found that the Madeira-based company was little more than a shell corporation, and it was used to push money to Panama – which is a tax haven. Prosecutors are pushing for a strong sentence and also a fine of €4million (£3.5m) for the 36-year old footballer
Alonso and all those accused have denied any accusations against them. Alonso said “I trust that this will end in good part even though it is going to be long, but I am convinced that I have always done everything well,” he said on Tuesday.
Alonso is not the only football player that has been investigated due to tax irregularities, last year, it was Lionel Messi the one fighting a legal battle with Spanish authorities because of a similar issue, this ended in a 21-month jail term sentence but then he was allowed to pay £3.5m tax avoidance over three years instead. Also, Cristiano Ronaldo is currently having legal issues because of tax.