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Marcelo: Real Madrid defender accused of tax fraud in Spain

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Real Madrid's defender from Brazil Marcelo during a match in Madrid in 13 September

Real Madrid star Marcelo has been accused by Spanish authorities of tax fraud totalling €490,000 (£436,000; $576,000).

The alleged irregularities are linked to the use of foreign firms to handle the earnings of his image rights, Madrid’s public prosecutor says.

The 29-year-old Brazilian player has yet to comment.

He is the latest in a string of footballers to be pursued by the Spanish tax authorities.

In the complaint, the public prosecutor said the defender, who joined Real Madrid in 2007, had used the tax structure seeking an “illegal fiscal benefit”.

The case dates back to 2013.

Other footballers have been accused of tax fraud in Spain, including:

  • Barcelona and Argentina footballer Lionel Messi was handed a 21-month suspended jail term. His father Jorge, who manages his finances, was also convicted
  • Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano – also an Argentine – admitted tax fraud, escaping a jail term with a one-year suspended sentence
  • Barcelona and Brazilian star Neymar is facing allegations of corruption and fraud over his transfer to the Spanish club in 2013 – a case which also involves his parents. Prosecutors allege the transfer cost much more than publicly declared, and that millions were concealed from authorities. All the accused deny the charges
  • Former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell was arrested in May as part of a money-laundering investigation
  • Real Madrid and Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo denies the accusation of evading millions of euros
  • Manchester United manager José Mourinho is accused of irregularities while he was Real Madrid coach from 2011 to 2012, which he denies
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