La Liga president Javier Tebas has defended Cristiano Ronaldo amid accusations of tax evasion and said the forward’s potential departure from Real Madrid would be an “irreparable loss” for the league.
ESPN FC reports that Ronaldo wants to leave Madrid and La Liga because he feels upset at the treatment he has received from authorities in Spain and believes he is being made an example of due to his status as a star player.
When asked for his opinion on the situation of the four-time Ballon d’Or winner, Tebas told La Sexta: “Knowing the people that surround Cristiano Ronaldo, how professional they are, and from what I’ve read regarding the reports done by the Spanish tax agency … I have no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo is innocent.”
Media reports in Portugal and Spain claim Ronaldo does intend to leave Real Madrid this summer.
Moreover, Ronaldo, who signed a new five-year deal with Real in November that tied him to the club until June 2021, is reportedly considering a return to Manchester United.
Ronaldo spent six years at Old Trafford, helping the club win three Premier League titles, the Champions League, two League Cups and the FA Cup before leaving for Real in 2009.
The departure of Ronaldo from La Liga would be a big blow to the competition, according to Tebas.
“When one travels, you get to see how important the big clubs are and their stars,” he said. “Right now, we [La Liga] are undergoing international growth and it would be an irreparable loss for the coming seasons.
“In the Spanish league, we’ve had the best footballers of our time, [Lionel] Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and we want to keep them. I hope he can overcome the problem and I trust Cristiano Ronaldo and his team.
“I’m certain that we will move on from this and that he will be with us for many more seasons.”
Tebas defended Messi last summer when reports came out that the Barcelona star was considering leaving Spain after a court ruled that the Argentina forward and his father defrauded the Spanish tax office of €4.1m.
A lawyer by profession and a known Real supporter, Tebas has urged the public not to judge Ronaldo until a verdict is given.
“What I ask of people is to wait and see how this ends,” he said.