Handout photo released on December 12, 2016 by L’Equipe shows Portugese player Cristiano Ronaldo posing with the Ballon d’Or France Football trophy in Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo was named winner of the Ballon d’Or on December 12, 2016 for the fourth time, organisers France Football said, capping a terrific year for the Real Madrid star. / AFP PHOTO / L’EQUIPE / FRANCK SEGUIN /
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo says his Ballon d’Or victory celebrations have been tarnished by allegations of tax fraud.
Ronaldo, who picked up his fourth footballer of the year award on Monday, says the allegations have been hard to bear for himself and his loved ones.
They also “partly spoiled the pleasure” of winning his fourth Ballon d’Or.
“It would be a lie to say otherwise,” he told France Football magazine in an interview published in part by the sports daily L’Equipe.
Twelve European newspapers have published excerpts of the so-called Football Leaks dossier, based on documents obtained by the German weekly Der Spiegel, including allegations concerning Ronaldo and other top footballers.
According to the reports, the Portuguese striker used tax havens to stash away 150 million euros ($160 million) he earned from image rights, an accusation he denies.
“Obviously this has not been good for me,” he said.
“It is hard not only for me but also for the people who are near me: my family, my son, all those who work with me.”