Real Madrid forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, criticized the judge in charge of his tax evasion hearing on Monday, saying he’s being prosecuted because of his superstar status.
Standing in front of Judge Mónica Gómez Ferrer at the Pozuelo de Alarcon court in Madrid, Ronaldo said: “If I wasn’t called Cristiano Ronaldo I wouldn’t be sat here.”
Judge Mónica Gómez Ferrer responded saying: “You are mistaken. Plenty of anonymous people have sat where you are,”
“You are under investigation for an alleged financial crime based on the evidence provided and upon which it is my duty to make a ruling.”
32-year-old Ronaldo, who have since denied the charges, stood his ground, restating that: “No, no. All of this is happening because I am Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Ronaldo was accused of evading €14.7m($17.3m) in tax by the Spanish tax authority, which says Ronaldo took “advantage of a company structure created in 2010 to hide income generated in Spain from his image rights from tax authorities.
A crime they termed “voluntary and conscious breach of his fiscal obligations in Spain”.
Ronaldo, the worlds highest earning athlete, joins the long list of football stars that has been charged with tax evasion crimes by the Spanish tax authority.