Former Cameroon footballer Samuel Eto’o has pleaded guilty to a €3.8m (£3.3m, $4m) tax fraud relating to his image rights while playing for Barcelona, according to media reports.
Eto’o was given a 22-month suspended prison sentence when he appeared at a court in Spain on Monday 20 June 2022. He will not spend time in prison because, under Spanish law, sentences of less than two years can be served under probation.
He must repay the money he owes, along with a fine of €1.8m.
Spanish prosecutors accused Eto’o of failing to declare income from the transfer of image rights between 2006 and 2009.
According to the BBC, the Spanish court heard that Eto’o transferred his image rights to a company based in Hungary which declared his earnings in that country, where the tax rate is one of the “lowest in Europe”.
Eto’o is not the only football icon who has been caught in the Spanish taxman’s crosshairs.
Football manager Jose Mourinho also admitted failing to pay tax.
Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, however, was cleared of three counts of tax fraud on 26 November 2019.