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Barcelona defender Gerard Pique told to pay £1.89m in tax arrears and fines

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has been ordered to pay the Spanish authorities £1.89 million in tax arrears and fines for tax evasion.

Gerard Pique made 52 appearances for Barcelona last season

The Tribunal Económico-Administrativo Central in Madrid upheld a decision from Spain’s country’s National Court concerning image rights payments from 2008 to 2010.

The Ex-Spanish international has the right to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Pique has not made any comment on the verdict.

There have been several high-profile cases of tax evasion in Spain in recent years with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho all fined.

Messi, paid a two million euro (£1.8m) fine in 2016 and received a 21-month jail term, although the prison sentence was later reduced to a further fine of 252,000 euros (£227,000). Former Real Madrid striker Ronaldo had a suspended two-year prison sentence before he agreed to pay 18.8 million euros (£16.9m) in fines and back taxes.

The verdict on World Cup winner Pique comes a month after his wife, Colombian musician Shakira, was questioned by a judge near Barcelona over alleged evasion of 14.5 million euros (£13m) in taxes. –