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Jose Mourinho accepts guilty plea for tax fraud in Spain

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press

Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has received a one-year suspended sentence after reaching a guilty plea for tax fraud in Spain.

Mourinho will not have to serve time after admitting he defrauded Spanish authorities in 2011 and 2012.

Sentences for two years or less for first-time offenders can be suspended in Spain.

The ex-Real Madrid coach appeared before a judge in the Spanish capital confirm the plea agreement he had reached with prosecutors. As part of the deal, he also has to pay a fine of nearly 2 million euros (£1.7 million).

Mourinho was accused of defrauding Spanish tax authorities of 3.3 million euros (£2.8 million) in unpaid taxes. The money involved revenues from image rights, not salary paid by Real Madrid.

The 56-year-old Portuguese coach, recently fired by Manchester United, was in charge of Real Madrid from 2010-13.

Mourinho's plea deal comes two weeks after former Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo pleaded guilty to tax fraud from the time he played in Spain.

The Portugal forward received a two-year suspended sentence and was ordered to pay nearly 19 million euros (£16.7 million) to Spanish authorities.

Mourinho had appeared before a judge in 2017 and denied any wrongdoing, saying he had paid everything he owed to Spanish tax authorities from the time he coached Real Madrid.

He said he left the country in 2013 with the "information and the conviction" that he was up to date with his tax obligations.

Gestifute, the agency that represents both Ronaldo and Mourinho, released a statement at the time saying the coach paid "more than 26 million euros (then £23 million) in taxes, with an average tax rate over 41%".