Cristiano Ronaldo due in court for tax evasion case during Madrid's U.S. tour
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been called to appear in court on July 31 to testify in a case in which he is accused of evading taxes, putting an appearance at the MLS All-Star Game in jeopardy.
Ronaldo is currently at the Confederations Cup in Russia with Portugal, and would not begin his summer break until July 3 if his side reaches the final.
That would leave four weeks before he is due to appear in court, with the date falling in the middle of Madrid's U.S. tour.
It is set for two days after their International Champions Cup Clasico against Barcelona in Miami and two days before they are scheduled to face the MLS All-Stars in Chicago.
This assumes, however, that Ronaldo is still a Madrid player, with a source confirming to ESPN FC that he wants to leave Madrid and Spain as a result of accusations from the Spanish tax authorities and the media.
A Spanish state prosecutor last week accused him of failing to pay €14.7 million on image rights earned between 2011 and 2014, saying he used a shell company in the Virgin Islands to "create a screen in order to hide his total income."
Ronaldo is now under official investigation and will have to appear in the Pozuelo de Alarcon court No. 1 on July 31. A judge will then decide if there are grounds to charge him with a crime.
Ronaldo's agency, Gestifute, released a statement after the accusations, saying "it is clear that the player did not try to evade taxes" and there was "no offshore structure for evading taxes."
Madrid said Ronaldo had their "full confidence," a point president Florentino Perez stressed again on Monday.
"[I have] complete confidence [that he is innocent] -- he has always wanted to fulfil his fiscal commitments," Perez told Onda Cero radio.
"There must be some sort of confusion which will be clarified. What I have been told is that he has the same structure [in Spain] that he had in England -- and there was no problem there."
Speaking about Ronaldo's reported desire to leave the club, Perez added: "Not I, nor anyone at Madrid, is contemplating that Cristiano could leave the club.
"He is not a business -- he forms part of this club's history. He's at the level of [Madrid legend Alfredo] Di Stefano."
Ronaldo has limited himself to saying that he has a "clear conscience" and is "always" innocent, but has not spoken publicly since it was reported that he wants to leave Madrid.
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.