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Xabi Alonso acquitted of tax fraud by Spanish court

Former Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso has been cleared of three counts of tax fraud in a Madrid court.

Alonso, who retired in 2017, was accused of defrauding the Spanish tax office of €2 million from 2010 to 2012 while on the books at Real Madrid, and of allegedly creating a tax haven for unpaid taxes on the revenue of image rights.

If found guilty, Alonso would have faced up to a five-year prison sentence and a €4m fine.

Unlike other high-profile players, Alonso refused to accept a plea bargain and always maintained his innocence.

Alonso's advisors, Ivan Zaldua Azcuenaga and Ignasi Maestre Casanovas, were also cleared of any wrongdoing.

Xabi Alonso finished his playing career at Bayern Munich and now coaches Real Sociedad's reserve team.

Many high-profile football players have been investigated for tax fraud in Spain. Recently, former Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, now with Juventus, accepted a €19m fine and received a 23-month suspended sentence for tax fraud, while Barcelona star Lionel Messi was handed a 21-month sentence and paid back approximately €17m in back taxes in his settlement.

Alonso joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 in a £30m move from Liverpool. He spent five seasons with Madrid before joining Bayern Munich in the summer of 2014.

The 37-year-old is now coaching Real Sociedad's reserves.


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