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 By Ian Holyman

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema: 'I pay my taxes, no problem'

Karim Benzema does not expect to endure the same financial concerns as some of his Real Madrid teammates might face, with the striker stating: "I pay my taxes."

While a number of his Madrid colleagues, including Cristiano Ronaldo, find themselves the subject of potentially damaging revelations about their fiscal propriety, Benzema, 28, is not among them.

"You have to pay taxes," the France international was quoted as saying by L'Equipe after scoring twice in Wednesday's 2-2 Champions League draw against Borussia Dortmund.

"I'm asked to pay my taxes, I pay them, that's it. It's no big deal. I see people are talking about that everywhere. I focus on football, I pay my taxes, no problem."

The report on the Mediapart website stated a number of Madrid players had chosen to pay tax on their image rights revenue offshore, benefitting from highly advantageous rates. 

Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring Real Madrid's opener against Borussia Dortmund.
Karim Benzema scored twice for Real Madrid against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

Benzema, however, was labelled "a fiscal patriot" by paying his in France via his company "Best of Benzema" (BOB), based in his home town of Lyon.

After signing for Madrid in 2009, he could have also benefitted from the more generous Spanish taxation system.

But rather than pay a rate "probably less than five percent," Benzema chose to keep his company in France, paying 33.3 percent tax on his image rights revenue.

The Mediapart report explained that in 2011, on revenue of €1 million, BOB paid €206,207 in tax, and €378,484 in 2012 on revenue of €1.6m.

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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