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Football

Samuel Eto’o pleads guilty to tax fraud charges

Samuel Eto'o
  • Samuel Eto’o is one of the greatest African footballers the world has ever seen. 
  • The former FC Barcelona star is in trouble with the Spanish government after he pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges. 
  • Eto’o will pay a fine of $1.9 million to the Spanish authorities. 

The legend, Samuel Eto’o is one of the greatest African football players of all time. The former Cameroon football star is among African players who spent their career days playing for top clubs in Europe. Samuel Eto’o played overseas for Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Everton. 

Samuel Eto’o is among top football stars like Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr and Cristiano Ronaldo, who have been in trouble with the Spanish government. The legendary African footballer committed tax fraud while he was living in Spain. Eto’o was by then playing for FC Barcelona in the Spanish La Liga. 

Spanish Prosecutors accused the former footballer of failing to reveal income from the transfer of image rights between 2006 and 2009.

According to the prosecutors, Samuel Eto’o transferred his image rights to a company in Hungary. The company declared Eto’o’s earnings to Hungary, which is one of the European countries with the lowest tax rate. Eto’o’s aim was to pay fewer taxes. 

A second company in Spain then declared Eto’o’s earnings to the Spanish government. However, Spanish prosecutors believe that the company declared fewer figures than the actual income tax that Eto’o was supposed to pay.

Samuel Eto'o

Eto’o The African Report

The prosecution maintained that Samuel Eto’o was the real holder of the image rights. According to the prosecution, the transfer was fraudulent as Eto’o aimed at paying less tax. 

Samuel Eto’o has since struck a deal with the Spanish prosecutors to avoid going to jail. He pleaded guilty to the charges placed against him. He was supposed to serve 22 months in jail and pay the fine as well but will not serve any time, as it is customary for prisoners in Spain of under two years of non-violent crimes. 

Reports from Barcelona, Spain, claim that the African star will pay a fine of $1.9 million. Eto’o’s former representative, Jose Maria Mesalles, is also in trouble with the Spanish prosecutors. The court sentenced Jose to 12 months in prison and also pay a fine. However, he will also not serve any time in jail. 

Samuel Eto’o and his colleague will reimburse Spanish authorities for the 3.9 million Euros defrauded. 

Besides the tax fraud, Samuel Eto’o has a good image in football. The former Inter Milan star is one of the best strikers in the history of football. Samuel Eto’o won the African Player of the Year a record of four times; in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2010. 

Eto’o is among the few players who have won the UEFA Champions League title with more than one club. He first won the title with Real Madrid in 2000, FC Barcelona in 2006 and 2009, and Inter Milan in 2010. 

Samuel Eto’o is among the most successful players Jose Mourinho has coached. He was in Jose Mourinho’s squad that won the treble with Inter Milan in 2010.

Samuel Eto'o and Jose Mourinho

Samuel Eto’o and Jose Mourinho. Photo/ Goal

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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