Angel di Maria pays 2m euros fine to settle Spanish tax case

Angel di Maria has agreed to pay 2m euros (£1.76m) to settle a tax case in Spain.

He will plead guilty to two charges of fraud relating to image rights during his time at Real Madrid.

Argentina international Di Maria is accused of failing to pay 1.3m euros to the Spanish tax authorities in 2012-2013 by giving up his image rights to companies based in tax havens, such as Panama.

The two charges of fraud which he is pleading guilty to carry an eight-month prison sentence each, but under Spanish law, a first-time offender is not required to serve time in jail for a sentence below two years.

Di Maria plays for Paris St-Germain is one of many high-profile players and managers to have their financial affairs under scrutiny.

United manager Jose Mourinho and Real forward Cristiano Ronaldo deny charges.

Mourinho has been accused by prosecutors of defrauding Spain of 3.3m euros (£2.9m) in taxes while he was Real Madrid coach from 2011 to 2012.

And Ronaldo is accused of evading tax of 14.7m euros (£13m) from 2011 to 2014.

In 2016, Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano received a one-year suspended prison sentence for tax fraud while Barca superstars Lionel Messi and Neymar are both currently awaiting court decisions.

Both players deny any wrongdoing.

Cristiano Ronaldo will talk to Real President about his Future

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez says he will talk to Cristiano Ronaldo about his future after the Confederations Cup.

Ronaldo has said that he wants to leave Spain after tax fraud accusations against him.

The forward is currently with the Portugal squad in Russia, signed a new five-year contract in November 2016, but has been linked with a return to Manchester United.

“The only thing I can say is Cristiano Ronaldo is a Real Madrid player,” said Perez, who was re-elected on Monday.

Spanish prosecutors have accussed the Portugese star of defrauding the authorities of millions of euros in tax, which he has denied.

“Obviously something has happened, something has affected him, his credibility,” Perez told Spanish radio station Onda Cero. “I’m sure he will tell us and we will see.

“It’s no coincidence that he’s in a very important tournament, the Confederations Cup. It hasn’t finished yet and I don’t want to disturb the Portuguese team.”

Perez says Ronaldo, who has also been linked with a move to Paris St-Germain, is not motivated by money.

He said: “He just wants to be the best player in the world. If Cristiano wants to leave Real Madrid, it won’t be for money.”

Perez said he is yet to receive an offer for Ronaldo – or striker Alvaro Morata or midfielder James Rodriguez, both of whom have also been linked with United.

“We want to keep all our players next season, including James,” he added.

Cristiano Ronaldo Denies Tax Evasion Accusations

Football star Cristiano Ronaldo has been accused of defrauding the authorities of millions of euros in tax by Spanish prosecutors.
The prosecutors says that they have filed a lawsuit against the Portuguese player.

He is accused of evading tax of 14.7m euros (£13m; $16m) from 2011 to 2014.
In a statement, Cristiano Ronaldo’s representative denied that there had ever been concealment, or the slightest intention to conceal.

“It is clear that the football player did not try to evade taxes,” Ronaldo’s Gestifute management company said.

Ronaldo brushed off the accussations, saying he was not worried about tax investigations as he had nothing to hide.
In December, leaked documents suggested that Ronaldo had avoided tax on income allegedly held in offshore accounts – allegations he also denied.

When asked about that investigation, he told a journalist from Radio Television Portuguesa (RTP) “Quien no debe no teme”, which roughly translates as “He who has nothing to hide has no fear.”

Barcelona agrees terms with Hector Bellerin

Barcelona have struck a deal with Arsenal star Hector Bellerin according to reports.

The Blaugrana allowed Dani Alves to leave in 2016 and were made to regret the decision after the Brazilian’s incredible form for Juventus on the way to the Champions League final.

A graduate from La Masia, Bellerin has long been speculated to return to Barcelona and is now seen as a priority signing for new manager Ernesto Valverde. Valverde left his former club to replace Luis Enrique, who left Camp Nuo at the end of the campaign.

Bellerin will have talks to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger next week about a potential return to Barcelona six years after arriving at the Emirates as a youth prospect.

Antoine Griezmann has a ‘6/10’ Manchester United Move

Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann has said that a transfer to Manchester United is ‘possible’, with a’six out of 10′ chance he will make a move to the club this summer.

The Atletico star had this to say on French TV show Quotidien.

“I think I will decide [on my future] in the next two weeks,” he said.

He was then asked if Manchester United would be his next club, he answered: “Possible, possible.” and was asked to estimate the chances on a scale of one to 10, Griezmann answered a “six”.

The presenter replied: “It’s the first time you’ve said that.” And Griezmann replied “it’s the first time.”

Griezmann scored 26 goals this season, placing Atletico at third in La Liga.

Adding to his repertoire, he was named the third best player in the world behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the Ballon d’Or awards in January.

But he wouldn’t come cheap, there is a 100 million euro release clause in Griezmann’s contract.

We can speculate that his transfer would rely heavily if United qualifies for the Champions League by winning the Europa League on Wednesday against Ajax in Stockholm.

Real Madrid win their first La Liga Title in 5 Years

Real Madrid won their first La Liga title since 2012 after winning in their final match against Malaga

Cristiano Ronaldo came in with the opener, latching onto Isco’s through ball to step around Carlos Kameni and tapping into the net.

Karim Benzema sealed the victory and the La Liga title with a second goal after the break.

Real, only needed a point to win the title. The club is now shooting for a double, as they face Juventus in the Champions League final.
Barcelona had won the past two titles, came from 2-0 down to beat Eibar 4-2 but they had needed Real to slip up if they were going to retain the trophy.

This means Zinedine Zidane, in his first full season as Real boss, is the first manager to lead Madrid to the La Liga title since Jose Mourinho five years ago.

If Real beat Juventus in Cardiff, they will become the first team to successfully defend the Champions League trophy.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane:  “It was very important [to win the league]. It was a lot of years without winning it and we knew that the league is everything.

“For Real Madrid, because it is the best club in the world, we have to return with this league title.

“He [Ronaldo] is always there to make the difference and I am happy for him – it is a little different because he is always there to do it.

“It has been a difficult season that we worked hard for, with some tough moments, but after 38 games we are top and that is it.

“The Spanish league is the best in my opinion and to win it in this way is incredible – I am very happy.”

Barcelona 7-1 Osasuna. La Liga. Messi Maintain Lead, Osasuna Relegated.

Lionel Messi scored twice maintaining Barcelona’s top position in the La Liga title race, effectively relegating Osasuna.

Defending La Liga Champions Barcelona are level on points with Real Madrid, who beat Deportivo la Coruna 6-2 later on Wednesday and have a game in hand.

Messi’s 501st Barca goal opened the scoring, before Andre Gomes followed up with a goal of his own.

Osasuna’s Roberto Torres gave their side hope, but Barca’s offense was too much for them to handle, with additional srikes by Gomes and Messi, two from Paco Alcacer and Javier Mascherano’s first Barca goal followed.

Leganes beat Las Palmas later on Wednesday to confirm bottom side Osasuna’s relegation.

Argentina forward Messi has now scored 49 goals this season in all competitions, from 48 games.

Mascherano’s first goal in 319 games for Barca was thumped home from the penalty spot after Messi had been withdrawn.

As he ran up to take it, the Barca bench watched on in excitement, with Luis Suarez – rested for the match – barely able to contain his glee.

“At first I tried to get out of it but under pressure from my team-mates and the crowd I decided to take it on,” Mascherano said.

“It would have been a fun moment to remember in years to come had I missed it. I wasn’t sure about it at all but it was difficult to say no to my team-mates.”

It was the 32-year-old’s third goal in senior club football, having scored twice during three years at previous club Liverpool – who he left for Barca in 2010.

“The fans behind the goal were chanting for Mascherano to take it,” manager Luis Enrique said. “I am happy for him – he is a key player for the club and he has shown that down the years.”

Scoreline

Barcelona
Messi (12′ minutes, 61′ minutes)
André Gomes (30′ minutes, 57′ minutes)
Alcácer (64′ minutes, 86′ minutes)
Mascherano (67′ minutes pen)
Osasuna
Torres (48′ minutes)