Spanish Finance Minister Confirms Tax Investigation of Football Players, Including Luka Modrić

Daniela Rogulj

Spanish Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro said on Wednesday in parliament that investigations are to be carried out for the players who were denounced by portal Football Leaks for avoiding to pay taxes in Spain. Among those listed is Real Madrid midfielder and Croatian national team captain Luka Modrić, reports Jutarnji List on 14 December 2016.

“There’s not a name, not a club, which can avoid an investigation into tax investigators,” said Montoro in Parliament in Madrid in response to a question by Juan Carlos Giraute who asked whether the tax investigators reviewed information provided by Football Leaks that were distributed by the Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo.


The published Tax Administration documents state that at Spanish club Real Madrid – Luka Modrić, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Fabio Coentrao – are all under investigation on suspicion of opening accounts abroad to avoid taxes from advertising and sponsorship contracts in Spain.


The Tax Administration in Spain on 18 January opened an investigation of the taxpayer Modrić, according to a document published by El Mundo. The Croatian international is under investigation because of the company he has established in Luxembourg “Ivano SARL”, named after his son. In Luxembourg, taxes are only around 1% whereas in Spain you must pay a tax of 30% to live and work. The company is managed by his wife Vanja and Modrić is the owner, said El Mundo, who along with eleven European media joined in the research consortium that published hundreds of confidential documents and information.


“Tax inspectors act in accordance with what was announced by complementing it with their own data,” said Montoro without specifying individually a single name. “It is a complex business and it takes time for the conclusion of the investigation.”


Spain is still feeling the effects of the economic crisis, with one of the worst unemployment rates in the EU: 19%.


“Spanish society should act vigorously against fraud because the one who is cheating the Finance Ministry is robbing all of us,” said Montoro.


Montoro has thus joined the center-right Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who is a supporter of Real Madrid, and who on Tuesday said that “whoever does not fulfill obligations under the Finance Ministry is deceiving other citizens”. Rajoy and Montoro this week are answering questions of the opposition that the government is interested in working on the issue of the Football Leaks affair. Football Leaks have also called on other football officials who have worked in Spain such as coach Jose Mourinho, the first coach of Modrić at Real Madrid in 2012.


European champions Real Madrid, whose players are in the center of the scandal, are in Japan this week fighting for the title of world club champion. “When you talk about it, it affects (the players), so I hope that everything will soon be solved,” said coach Zinedine Zidane at a news conference in Madrid before going to Japan.


Luka Modrić when called for tax evasion in Spain was not available for comment. A spokesman for Real Madrid, Carlos Carbajosa, also did not respond to the request.



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