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Real Madrid’s manager Carlo Ancelotti faces trial over tax evasion

In a developing story Real Madrid’s manager Carlo Ancelotti is the latest high-profile figure to be targeted by Spanish prosecutors. Ancelotti, the only manager in the sport history to have won 4 Champions League titles, is now under investigation for allegedly defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of €1 million for the period between 2014 and 2015. The Prosecutor’s Office has requested a prison sentence of almost five years for the Italian tactician, a situation that places him in a notorious line of football personalities facing legal challenges over financial irregularities.

Ancelotti’s case highlights a recurring theme within the footballing world, where the intersection of immense wealth and complex tax laws frequently leads to disputes with authorities. Previously, stars such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have found themselves in similar situations, drawing attention to the issue of tax evasion in professional sports.

Lionel Messi, the Inter Miami forward and regarded by many as the greatest footballer of all time, was sentenced alongside his father in 2016 for defrauding Spain’s tax office of €4.1 million from image rights earnings. However, Messi managed to avoid prison time by paying a fine and agreeing to a suspended sentence, a common outcome in Spain for first-time offenders with sentences of two years or less.

Similarly, Cristiano Ronaldo, another contender for the title of football’s greatest and currently playing for Al Nassr, faced accusations of evading €14.7 million in taxes. Ronaldo settled his case in 2019 by agreeing to pay an €18.8 million fine and accepting a two-year suspended prison sentence.