Madrid (AFP)

Spanish-Brazilian Atlético Madrid striker Diego Costa (31) was fined around 543,000 euros after admitting defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of just over a million euros, judicial sources announced on Thursday.

Diego Costa had been sentenced to six months in prison, a sentence commuted after an agreement with the prosecution in a fine of 36,000 euros, to which was added another fine of 507,208 euros due to the large sum of money defrauded.

The footballer had already paid, in August, "1.14 million euros, fully repaying his tax debt, interest included", which facilitated the agreement with the Spanish justice, can we read in the judicial decision consulted by AFP.

The Atlético striker appeared Thursday in a Madrid regional court, accompanied by his lawyers, to attend a short trial, where all that remained was to sign the agreement with the prosecution, whose requisitions are detailed in the conviction.

Diego Costa was accused of not having included on his tax return corresponding to the year 2014, when he signed his transfer to Chelsea, the gains from this agreement with the London club.

According to Spanish justice, the fees paid by the English club "amounted to 5,150,622.39 euros, declared in the United Kingdom, knowing that these incomes were subject to tax in Spain".

The footballer would also have concealed "1,371,098.31 euros corresponding to the income from the exploitation of his image rights", added the Spanish justice.

Diego Costa had left Atlético Madrid at the end of the 2013-2014 season to join Chelsea, then took the opposite path in January 2018, to return to Madrid.

In recent years, the Spanish tax authorities have been closely monitoring the football economy, and stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have already been convicted of tax fraud.

The last case was that of Xabi Alonso. The former Spanish Real Madrid international, now retired, was whitewashed last November when he was accused of an alleged fraud of two million euros when he played at Real.

© 2020 AFP