September 16, 2017 / 12:15 PM / a year ago

Ex-Atletico Madrid player Falcao to admit to tax fraud in Spain - source

MADRID (Reuters) - Colombian footballer Radamel Falcao, who played for Atletico Madrid between 2011 and 2013, will plead guilty to tax fraud in Spain and pay a fine of 6.9 million euros in order to avoid a trial, a source on his legal team said on Saturday.

Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Colombia v Brazil - Metropolitano Roberto Melendez stadium, Barranquilla, Colombia - September 5, 2017 Radamel Falcao of Colombia celebrates his goal. REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga/File Photo

Falcao, who now plays in the French league for Monaco, was accused of not properly declaring around 5.6 million euros earned in image rights between 2012 and 2014.

The striker will plead guilty to the charge, taking sole responsibility, a source on his legal team said, confirming reports in Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

Falcao paid 8.2 million euros to the Spanish authorities in July so the agreement will result in around 1.3 million euros being returned to the player, the source said.

The Spanish prosecutor’s office was unavailable to confirm the reports.

Spanish authorities have investigated numerous football players for allegedly failing to properly declare earnings from image rights.

In 2016 Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and his father were found guilty of tax fraud to the tune of 4.1 million euros ($4.68 million) over income earned from image rights.

Reporting by Emma Pinedo in Madrid; Writing by Sam Edwards in Barcelona; Editing by Andrew Bolton

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