Bayern Munich James Rodriguez has been caught up in a tax scandal in Spain due to his past image rights income.
Reports from El Mundo claim that the Colombia star is accused of committing a tax fraud of an equivalent of £5.6m (€6.35m) in 2014, with the sale of his image rights to infamous football agent Jorge Mendes for a subjected £10.6m (€13m) being the centre of the Spanish authority’s investigations. They go on to claim that he will have to pay back €11.65m.
After moving to Real Madrid from Monaco in excess of £70m after a blistering 2014 World Cup showing in Brazil, Rodriguez’s tax return that year showed that he was a non-resident, which the Agencia Tributaria refuse to accept. The Columbian midfielder is currently with Bayern Munich on a two-year loan deal.
ESPN FC, however, report that negotiations with the tax authorities were taking place, but point out that there is no evidence at this stage to prove that any criminal offence actually took place, and claim that the figures cited by El Mundo are incorrect.
Juventus midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo admitted wrongdoing over his image rights income after his recent £83.5m move from Real Madrid and agreed to issue a payment of £16.7m in taxes and fines, although his case is also still ongoing.
It has been a common trend that players amongst Mendes’ Gestifude agency have been pursued by the Spanish authorities for tax evasion. Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho appeared in court in 2017 and denied any wrongdoing, Radamel Falcao, Pepe and Angel Di Maria have also had issues with their image rights.
Agencia Tributaria refused to comment on the situation and their investigations continue.