Portuguese nationals Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo might be entangled in a tax evasion system that involves hundreds of millions of dollars, according to leaked documents obtained by multiple media outlets. The star player and star coach share an agent, Jorge Mendes, who allegedly has been aiding them in routing their earnings through tax havens in Switzerland, Panama, and the British Virgin Islands.
The information was obtained by twelve European outlets by way of Football Leaks, a soccer-themed whistle-blowing site inspired by Julian Assange's Wikileaks. According to German outlet Der Spiegel, Ronaldo could have hidden upwards of $160 million, and Mendes could have dissolved "at least 185 million euros (roughly $197 million) of sponsorship income from the tax administrations."
The outlets have said they would release the information over the next three weeks.
Mendes made a statement by way of his company Gestifute, denying the claims. Here is an excerpt:
Gestifute publicly states that:
- Both Cristiano Ronaldo and José Mourinho are fully compliant with their tax obligations with the Spanish and British tax authorities.
- Neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor José Mourinho have ever been involved in legal proceedings regarding the commission of a tax offense.
- Any insinuation or accusation made to Cristiano Ronaldo or José Mourinho over the commission of a tax offense will be reported to the legal authorities and prosecuted.