Cristiano Ronaldo relaxed over tax problems - Real Madrid president Perez
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez says Cristiano Ronaldo is relaxed about his current tax problems and is focused solely on success as a footballer.
Ronaldo, 32, was in court in Madrid in July to answer charges of a €14.7 million tax fraud, where he maintained his innocence of any wrongdoing.
The Portugal captain has so far declined to follow others facing similar charges, including Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Monaco striker Radamel Falcao, in doing a deal with the authorities to avoid a potential custodial prison sentence.
Perez told El Espanol: "Ronaldo is relaxed as he is a person with just one fixation -- his profession.
"Everything else... he has a clear conscience as he has not hidden anything, or done anything wrong. Then he dedicates his body and soul to keep winning Ballons d'Or and The Best prizes, as I believe he will win the next two."
Madrid forward Gareth Bale, though, missed out on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or.
Asked if he lost sleep thinking about Bale's injury woes, Perez recalled how former Madrid playmaker Kaka never returned to his best following a knee injury in 2010.
"Things happen with players that we do not expect," he said "Kaka came as a phenomenon, a Ballon d'Or. But he went to a World Cup, was given an injection, and returned with his knee destroyed.
"He was never the same Kaka again. Bale had a very big operation last year, was out for four months, and as Zidane has said, when you are out for so long you need the same time again, or even a bit more, to get your fitness back. I believe this period will pass. Gareth is a bit down about it, but very motivated to come back. We will see the great Gareth again."
Perez also said Madrid had considered signing Kylian Mbappe from Monaco during the summer but said Paris Saint-Germain was a better place for the 18-year-old to get regular games.
"We thought about Mbappe [in the summer], but we have a very complete squad," he said. "It was difficult for us to fit in a young player like him, with a lot of promise. At PSG he will be able to play more often. He has a big chance to be a real star, as have our young players like Marco Asensio."
Perez said that ex-Mallorca winger Asensio fits with the current squad model at the Bernabeu, where focusing on young talent is a priority.
"We have invested a lot in our youth system and also have brought in young players from outside -- Theo [Hernandez], [Dani] Ceballos and [Jesus] Vallejo," he said. "And others who are out on loan like [Martin] Odegaard, Vinicius [Junior] and Fede Valverde at Deportivo.
"These are spectacular players of 17, 18, 19 years old ... but that does not mean that if a marvellous player emerges [elsewhere] we will not go for him."
Last season's La Liga and Champions League winners have started 2017-18 slowly, winning just two of their last six home fixtures in all competitions.
"That is Real Madrid's history," Florentino said. "We had a spectacular month of August, maybe we focused a bit too much on winning the two Supercups, and you relax a bit and a team can come here and beat you at the Bernabeu.
"Nobody likes this, but it is impossible to be at your best every week, playing Wednesday and Sunday. It has always happened. Madrid fans are very demanding but we still have things in our own hands in the title race."
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan