The noise is getting louder that Cristiano Ronaldo is looking for a way out of Real Madrid.
The Ballon d’Or hero has been accused of tax evasion in Spain, and the BBC says Ronaldo is furious at the allegations. He’s maintaining his innocence and, reportedly, ready to leave the country.
The top-earning athlete in the world, Ronaldo was accused of tax evasion late last year as well. He joins Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Javier Mascherano as La Liga stars to face legal action.
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Ronaldo has a $1.1 billion release clause, but may want out. Here are the quotes from the BBC’s source.
“He feels he’s honest, has good character and did everything OK,” added the source. “He’s very sad and really upset. He doesn’t want to stay in Spain. At this moment, he wants to leave.”
There could be fire under this some, but to expect any quick resolution feels insane. The ramifications of a Ronaldo move, whether to Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, or elsewhere, are myriad and would shake up European soccer.
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Presumably there would be a transfer fee well below that $1.1 billion figure if Ronaldo is engineering his exit, but it would undoubtedly be a world record transfer and Financial Fair Play would probably be keeping a close eye on the move. Not to mention that Ronaldo turns 33 next season.