Football star Ronaldo expected in Madrid Tuesday for tax fraud trial

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Coppa Italia - Bologna v Juventus - Stadio Renato Dall'Ara, Bologna, Italy - January 12, 2019 Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo after the match REUTERS/Alberto Lingria/File Photo

MADRID (Reuters) - Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo is expected back in Madrid on Tuesday to attend a trial for tax evasion where Spanish prosecutors are asking for a 23-month prison sentence and fine.

Ronaldo's former Madrid teammate Xabi Alonso is also due in court next Tuesday for another case of tax fraud.

Portuguese striker Ronaldo, who left Real Madrid for Juventus last July, is expected to plead guilty after he agreed a settlement worth 18.8 million euros (£16.5 million) with Spanish tax authorities last summer.

However, he is unlikely to serve any time in prison as Spanish law states a sentence of under two years for a first offence can be served on probation.

The prosecutor's office said it was seeking a fine of 5.7 million euros, which it said Ronaldo had already paid, as well as interest of about one million euros.

That fine, expected to be confirmed on Tuesday in a Madrid court, is part of the total agreed in the earlier settlement, judicial sources said.

Ronaldo, 33, who has helped take Juventus to the top of Italian football's Serie A, will have to travel to Madrid immediately after playing against Chievo on Monday.

The trial was initially expected to take place on Monday but the prosecutor's office said the date was now set for Tuesday.

It is expected to be concluded on the same day and be short, with officials saying the hearing will only require Ronaldo to confirm he accepts the deal.

Ronaldo is involved in a second legal case where police in the United States asked Italian authorities to obtain a DNA sample from him as part of their investigation into accusations he raped a woman a decade ago in Las Vegas.

Ronaldo says he is innocent and that the sexual encounter in question was consensual.

In the case of Xabi Alonso, prosecutors are seeking a five-year prison sentence and four million euro fine. A World Cup winner with Spain who retired from football in 2017, Alonso is accused of defrauding the Spanish state of two million euros between 2010 and 2012.

Alonso, whose adviser Ivan Zaldua Acuenaga and administrator Ignasi Maestre Casanova face the same sentence, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

(Reporting by Richard Martin and Jose Elias Rodriguez; Editing by Ingrid Melander, Toby Chopra and Andrew Cawthorne)

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