Ex-Chelsea defender Carvalho sentenced to prison

With Agencies

Ricardo Carvalho, the former Chelsea and Real Madrid defender, has been handed a seven-month prison sentence in Spain for tax fraud.

The 39-year-old is unlikely to serve any jail time because, under Spanish law, sentences below two years for non-violent crimes when defendants do not have a previous conviction are typically viewed as suspended.

Carvalho, who is still playing professionally with Shanghai SIPG in the Chinese Super League, acknowledged he failed to pay taxes relating to image rights in 2011 and 2012 and repaid the amount in full. He was also fined €142,882 ($A215,000).

Prosecutors had argued for a 12-month sentence and a larger fine of €300,000 ($A453,000).

Carvalho's former clubs also include Porto and Monaco, while he won Euro 2016 with Portugal at international level last year.

Carvalho during his Chelsea playing days. Pic: Getty

Carvalho is the latest player to have fallen foul of tax law in Spain.

In 2016 Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi was found guilty of defrauding the Spanish state of 4.2 million euros ($A6.3m) and handed a jail sentence of 21 months.

Real Madrid's top goal-scorer Cristiano Ronaldo attended a court hearing in July to answer allegations he avoided 14.7 million euros ($A22m). No formal charges have been made against him.

Monaco forward Radamel Falcao, Sporting Lisbon's Fabio Coentrao and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho have also faced investigation by Spanish authorities for tax evasion while they lived in Spain.


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