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Cristiano: "There are innocents in prison. I feel like one of them"

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo opened up about recent tax evasion allegations in an interview with L'Equipe after winning the Ballon d'Or for the fourth time on Monday.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo attends training ahead of FIFA Club World Cup Semi-Final match against Club America. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Following his Ballon d’Or triumph on Monday, Cristiano Ronaldo gave an exclusive interview to L’Equipe in which he addressed the tax evasion accusations that have been pointed at him in recent weeks.

"The lie is worrying"

“All of this bothers me, because I try to do things fairly and transparently,” he told the French newspaper. “What has emerged troubles me because it’s not true. The lie is worrying.

“When people talk about my private life, about my friends, about the place I was spending my vacations, about whether I have a girlfriend or not, this if normal, fine. But when it deals with something much more serious than that, when it has a judicial component.... My lawyers, the people at the club [Real Madrid], they are working on that for me.

Cristiano Ronaldo holding his four trophies after receiving the European footballer of the year award, the "Ballon d'Or" (Golden ball), in 2008, 2013, 2015 and 2016.
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Cristiano Ronaldo holding his four trophies after receiving the European footballer of the year award, the "Ballon d'Or" (Golden ball), in 2008, 2013, 2015 and 2016.FRANCK FIFE FABRICE COFFRINI FRANCK SEGUINAFP

"There are innocent people in prison...I feel a bit like them right now"

“The whole story annoys me because we are always trying to do the right thing. When they [the media] talk about me, and with the way they are doing it, it feels awful. There are innocent people in prison, you know, and I feel a bit like them right now.

“You know that you haven’t done anything wrong, but everyone is accusing you of having committed a crime. Nobody would be happy with this situation.”

Allegations a blemish on Ballon d'Or win 

Ronaldo even admitted that the allegations had marred his fourth Ballon d’Or trophy victory. “Of course it has,” he said. “If I said the contrary I’d be lying. I’m not a hypocrite. I don’t always say what I think because sometimes it damages me, but it’s clear that this story has affected me quite a lot.

“All this investigative journalism is very hard for me and for the people in my circle: for my family, for my son, for everyone who works with me. My son goes to school. He’s starting to understand the things that are happening.

"I'm used to people talking about me...I just have to accept it" 

“I’ve had enough of putting Cristiano Ronaldo in the internet to know everything [written about me. I don’t have any reason to lie. Everything that’s written about me, about my girlfriends […] what comes out hurts me. Basically because it’s not true. It’s a lie. But I’m used to people talking about me, good or bad. I just have to accept it.”


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