Cristiano Ronaldo Image Credit: AP

Madrid: It seems that anything Lionel Messi can do, Cristiano Ronaldo can do better.

The pair have dominated European football for the past decade, having won five Balons d’Or apiece and the headline-hungry Portuguese star gaining the upper hand over his Argentine rival recently having won three consecutive Champions League titles with Real Madrid, progressed further with his national side at the World Cup and then made the front and back pages worldwide by moving to Italian side Juventus after a decade in the Spanish capital.

Now he has gone and done it again.

Ronaldo will be fined 3.2 million euros and sentenced to 24 months in prison, a sentence he is unlikely to serve, after settling a tax evasion case with Spanish tax authorities on Friday.

The 33-year-old is accused of evading 5.7 million euros in taxes. He has denied the allegations.

Why Ronaldo is unlikely to go behind bars

Ronaldo is unlikely to go to prison as Spanish law states that a sentence of under two years for a first offence can be served on probation.

The football star will be required to pay the 3.2-million-euro fine plus the 5.7 million euros in back taxes, 1 million euros in accrued interest and 250 euros-per-day for the 48 months covering the prison sentence.

This amount is likely to be only part of the striker’s fines over the case, which are expected to rise to around 19 million euros in total.

This puts Messi in the shade once again as in his own tax case in 2016 he only paid a two-million-euro fine and received a minuscule 21-month jail term.

The prison sentence was later reduced to a further fine of 252,000 euros equivalent to 400 euros per day of the original term.

Ronaldo evidently just won’t leave Messi and his records alone.