Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa clashes with Barcelona's Gerard Pique. Image Credit: Reuters

Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa has been given a six-month prison sentence and fined 543,208 euros (around $610,000) after pleading guilty to tax fraud.

Like many football stars before him, however, the striker will not have to serve any jail time as Spanish law states that non-violent first-t time offenders who are sentenced to less than two years in jail are able to avoid time behind bars by paying a further financial penalty.

Costa accepted charges of avoiding a tax payment of more than a million euros, linked to his transfer to Chelsea in 2014 and also to tax related to image rights.

He joins a long list of players from Spain’s La Liga who have been fined for tax evasion, with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Iker Casillas among those who have previously appeared in court for similar offences.