Manchester United's Alexis Sanchez accepts suspended sentence for tax fraud

Spanish law states that the 29-year-old will not have to spend any time in jail and he has agreed to pay the money he owes with interestAlexis Sanchez has accepted a 16-month prison sentence for committing tax fraud during his time at Barcelona, although he will not spend time in jail. He will repay the amount in full, plus interest.

Sentences of less than two years for first-time offenders are often suspended in Spain.

In potentially the largest case, Spanish authorities are now investigating World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid for tax fraud amounting to 14.7 million euros.

The ex-Arsenal star is the latest football figure to be punished by Spanish prosecutors for an apparent dodging of taxes.

In 2016, Barcelona midfielder Lionel Messi was sentenced to a 21-month jail sentence that was eventually reduced to a fine of 2.1 million euros.

Alexis Sánchez
Sánchez arrived at Old Trafford from Arsenal last month Credit Getty Images

Real Madrid forward Ronaldo, meanwhile, was accused of owing €14.7m but has protested his innocence in an ongoing case.

"Prosecutors and the tax office have put more than 30 players in the same situation, accusing them of the same crimes and threatening them with effective prison sentences", Felicevich said.

"Given the awful experiences suffered by Messi, Ronaldo, etc have had to suffer, we concluded that it was better to accept an unjust agreement but be able to turn the page and not to be subjected to political and media pressure".

This isn't the first time we've heard of a Barcelona player going through the same ordeal as Alexis - with his former teammates Javier Mascherano and Lionel Messi also suffering the same fate.

"Throughout all these cases, whilst violating the rights of those under investigation, the repeated, continuous and obscene leaks have been an element of pressure on the players to force them to accept agreements like the one today, which once again has been leaked to the media".

  • Rosalie Stanley