Spanish prosecutors are seeking a prison term of more than 10 years for former Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o for alleged tax crimes committed when he played for Barcelona.
The 35-year-old, who played 198 times for the Blaugranas between 2004 and 2009, allegedly set up front companies to avoid paying taxes before leaving for Inter Milan.
The prosecutors insist Eto’o should pay approximately 14 million euros and are seeking the same punishment for the player’s representative at the time, Jose Maria Mesalles Mata.
Reports in Spain say #Cameroon legend Samuel Eto'o could face 10 years in prison and after being accused of tax fraud. 1/2— Farayi Mungazi (@BBCFarayi) November 24, 2016
Eto'o played for Real Madrid, Mallorca and Barcelona in La Liga and reportedly owes almost £3million in tax from 2006 to 2009. 2/2— Farayi Mungazi (@BBCFarayi) November 24, 2016
Before joining Barcelona, the former Cameroonian captain had played for Real Madrid and Mallorca in the Spanish top flight league.
He moved from Barcelona to Inter Milan and won the league and Champions League trophy with the Italian giants under the Jose Mourinho era.
From Spain, Eto’o has played for two English clubs – Chelsea and Everton, he has also played in Turkey with Antalyaspor where he was also appointed a player-coach.
The news comes a day after Spanish prosecutors recommended a two-year jail sentence be given to Neymar for his part in a corruption case. Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi was convicted in July this year for tax fraud and was ordered to pay €1.7m in fines.
In July this year, his former Barcelona teammate, Lionel Messi and his father Jorge Horacio Messi were found guilty of three counts of tax fraud by a Spanish court.
However, since this was the first time Messi has committed an offense and his sentence was less than two years, 29-year-old Messi won’t serve jail time as long as he doesn’t break the law again. His father too won’t serve the term since he also doesn’t have any criminal record.
The court ordered Messi to pay a fine of around 2 million euros ($2.21 million) and his father to pay 1.5 million euros for the crimes.