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Ronaldo in court for tax evasion charge

Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has arrived in court in Madrid amid a huge media presence to face tax evasion charges which could result in an €18.8m (£16.6m) fine.

A judge refused the player's request to appear by video or to enter the building by car to avoid the spotlight.

He is widely expected to plead guilty in a pre-agreed deal that would hand him a 23-month jail sentence.

In Spain, convicts are usually not sent to jail for sentences under two years.

The non-violent nature of Ronaldo's offence means it is unlikely he would face any time at all in jail under the deal.

Ronaldo, five-time winner of Europe's Ballon d'Or and often titled one of the world's best players, is accused of avoiding paying tax in Spain between 2011 and 2014, when he was playing for Real Madrid and based in the Spanish capital.

Journalist Ruben Canizares posted a video of the footballer arriving at the provincial court with his fiancee Georgina Rodriguez.

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.

The amount was reported to be in the region of €14.8m.

In 2017, when the allegations first emerged, prosecutors said it was a "voluntary and conscious breach of his fiscal obligations in Spain".

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