Cristiano Ronaldo was met by enormous media presence outside court after a judge refused his request to appear by video or to enter the building by car to avoid the spotlight.
The deal which has been agreed in advance includes a 23-month jail sentence. However, in Spain convicts do not usually do time for sentences under two years and Cristiano will likely not face any jail time.
The Portuguese forward pleaded guilty of tax evasion and accepted an 18.8 Million Euros deal to escape prosecution. The court appearance lasted mere minutes as Ronaldo accepted the deal offered by prosecutors in Madrid.
The current Juventus player, who played for the club in Italy the night before, arrived at the provincial court with his fiancee, Georgina Rodriguez. Smiling and giving a thumbs-up, he was apparently unfazed by the media presence.
His lawyers had argued that given his fame, avoiding the main entrance was needed for the player’s security.
What are the allegations against Ronaldo?
Ronaldo, who is a five-time winner of Europe’s Ballon d’Or and considered to be one of the world’s best players, was accused of tax evasion in Spain between 2010 and 2014 when he was playing for Real Madrid and based in the Spanish capital.
According to Forbes, the 33-year-old is listed as the third-wealthiest athlete in the world with estimated earnings of $108m (€95m) a year. The case centres around lucrative image rights deals. Prosecutors say the proceeds were funnelled through low-tax companies in foreign nations to avoid paying the required tax.