Xabi Alonso arrives at court in Madrid for trial as he faces five-year prison sentence over alleged tax fraud
Former Liverpool hero Xabi Alonso in court in Madrid for trial as he faces five-year prison sentence and £3.6m fine for alleged tax fraud
- Xabi Alonso allegedly committed three counts of tax fraud from 2010 to 2012
- Of the long list of ex and current footballers, he is the only one going to a trial
- Alonso arrived on Wednesday morning to begin his two-day trial in Madrid
- He faces five years in prison and a huge fine totalling £3.6m if he is found guilty
Former Liverpool star Xabi Alonso will go on trial on Wednesday in Madrid for alleged tax fraud.
The midfield maestro is facing a five-year prison sentence and £3.6million (€4m) fine if convicted.
Alonso, who won the Champions League in his first season with Liverpool, has been charged with three counts of tax fraud state prosecutors say he committed between 2010 and 2012.
Xabi Alonso (centre) arrives at court alongside his lawyers for his two-day trial in Madrid
Alonso (right) sits on the dock at Audiencia Nacional during his trial
Alonso is currently manager of Real Sociedad B, the club where he started his career
The 37-year-old has consistently protested his innocence and is the only one of a long list of footballers accused of tax fraud in Spain who has decided to go to trial instead of paying the Spanish Treasury the tax it is claiming plus fines.
Alonso’s two financial advisers, who state prosecutors also want jailed for five years if found guilty, will also be tried.
The two-day trial, due to start on Wednesday morning at Madrid’s Provincial Court, was initially scheduled for January 22.
The case revolves around nearly £2m prosecutors claim Alonso evaded in tax from image rights.
Alonso, who also played for Real Madrid and Bayern Munich before going into management, said after the January trial suspension: ‘If I have the conviction and the confidence that I have done things correctly, that I have cooperated from the start and have never hidden anything, I have to defend myself and confide in justice.
‘That’s why I’ve come this far and I am going to carry on till the end.
During his career, Alonso played for the likes of Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich
The 37-year-old Alonso has consistently protested his innocence
‘I would be worried if I thought I had something to hide or I hadn’t done something right. As that’s not the case, I’m carrying on.’
Cristiano Ronaldo admitted tax fraud in January and agreed to pay a £16.5m fine after striking a deal with Spanish prosecutors and tax authorities in return for a 23-month suspended prison sentence.
The 34-year-old had been accused of defrauding the authorities of £12.9m in unpaid taxes between 2011 and 2014.
Cristiano Ronaldo admitted tax fraud in January and agreed to pay a huge £16.5m fine
Jose Mourinho also did a deal with Spanish authorities which involved him paying a fine of nearly £2m and admitting tax fraud to escape prison.
Although Alonso’s trial is due to finish on Thursday, a verdict and any sentence if he is found guilty of wrongdoing is expected to be delivered in writing some weeks later.
The retired footballer would have the right to appeal if he is convicted, and would be unlikely to start any prison sentence until he exhausts the appeals process.