Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric has reportedly accepted a suspended eight-month prison sentence after admitting two counts of tax fraud.
According to El Mundo (h/t Gerard Couzens of the Daily Mirror), Modric has agreed a plea deal after he was accused of defrauding Spanish tax authorities out of €870,728 from image rights in 2013 and 2014 by using a limited company based in Luxembourg.
Modric appears set to avoid a prison term, and El Mundo said he will be able to exchange any sentence for a fine of €60,000.
“The company, Ivano, S.A.R.L, was named after his son Ivano and managed by his wife Vanja Bosnia,” Couzens noted. “Spanish tax authorities sought information from authorities in the Isle of Man as part of their probe into Modric amid warnings it could accuse him of defrauding a higher amount.”
However, the Spanish authorities have opted against pursuing Modric for more.
According to El Mundo, the Croatian will need to pay back €1.4 million. That would include the amount he defrauded, a fine and the sum to eradicate any spell behind bars.
Away from the case, 2018 has been a memorable year for Modric on the pitch, as he’s established himself as the standout central midfielder in world football.
For Los Blancos, he was crucial to the side’s third consecutive UEFA Champions League trophy, turning in a masterful display in the 3-1 final win against Liverpool in May.
Modric also enjoyed an outstanding 2018 FIFA World Cup. He was Croatia’s captain as they made a surprise run to the final, and while they were eventually beaten by France, the Madrid star was crowned as the best player in the tournament.
On the back of those triumphs, Modric was nominated for the Best FIFA Men’s Player Award, and compatriot Ivan Rakitic thinks the playmaker would be a worthy winner:
B/R Football @brfootball
Messi’s game, Modric’s year. https://t.co/KeZD4n9tvw
In addition to the tax fraud, Modric has been involved in another ongoing story away from the field.
As Liam Twomey of The Independent reported, Modric was charged with perjury prior to the World Cup after it was alleged he lied in his testimony for the fraud trial of former Dinamo Zagreb executive director Zdravko Mamic. A Croatian court ruled that Modric, among others, was unlawfully paid 50 per cent of his transfer fee following his move from Dinamo to Tottenham Hotspur but wired most of it to Mamic as part of an agreement.
Modric’s Croatia team-mate, Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren, has also been charged with providing a false testimony in the case.