Former Manchester United star Angel di Maria given one-year jail sentence

Di Maria's defence team struck a deal with prosecutors

Di Maria spent four years in Madrid before joining Manchester United

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid footballer Angel di Maria has been sentenced to a year in jail and given a €2 million (£1.76 million) fine by a court in Spain.

The Argentine star, who now plays for Paris Saint Germain, was punished after admitting to tax fraud during his time with Real Madrid.

El Confidencial reports that Di Maria's defence team struck a deal with prosecutors early on Wednesday morning (June 21), whereby the footballer admitted two counts of fraud.

Di Maria admitted to hiding €1.3 million in tax from the Spanish finance ministry over two years, 2012 and 2013. The finance ministry had claimed Di Maria hid the money, which related to income from his image rights, via an opaque financial structure involving companies in Ireland and Panama.

Under Spanish law prison sentences of less than two years are generally suspended providing there are no previous convictions, meaning Di Maria will avoid any actual jail time.

Di Maria moved to Real Madrid in 2010 and quit the club for United four years later, staying just a year in England before moving to Paris. He is widely regarded as one of the finest footballers in the world and was given the Man of the Match award in the 2014 Champions League final.

The 29-year-old is one of a number of high-profile figures within football to be targeted by Spanish authorities in recent months, relating to their time working in the country.

Others include Di Maria's compatriot Lionel Messi, who was jailed for 21 months, as well as Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho.

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Jose Mourinho accused of tax fraud in Spain while at Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo accused of defrauding Spanish finance ministry of 14.7 million euros

Lionel Messi given 21-month jail sentence for fraud