Zinedine Zidane insisted his players are intelligent and good people in response to speculation over Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo’s tax affairs.
Gestifute, the company that represents Ronaldo, published further proof of what it claims is confirmation the player has paid all due taxes late on Thursday.
They provided documentation that appeared to be official confirmation that on 30 March 2016, the Portugal international had declared assets and rights abroad to the total of more than €203million.
The disclosure came after allegations made in several European media outlets that he avoided paying taxes through structures set up by Gestifute, an organisation founded by Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes – accusations which have been firmly denied by the company.
Those claims are part of the so-called ‘Football Leaks’, which will see 12 European newspapers publish the findings of what is described as “the largest leak in the history of sport”, with Pepe and Fabio Coentrao among the others to be named.
Zidane, though, does not think players have set out to commit wrongdoing and hopes for a swift resolution to the story.
“Before being players they are people and my players are very intelligent people,” Zidane said at his media conference ahead of Madrid’s LaLiga match against Deportivo La Coruna.
“I think they know what happens, where their money gets spent and invested. The players are professionals, good people.
“People can come out sometimes and publish certain things and then there are speculation and rumours.
“These things affect us and I just hope it is sorted out quickly so we can focus just on football and winning games.”