There’s the disgraceful prospect that Cristiano Ronaldo might lose his knighthoods but Madeira’s president, Miguel Albuquereque, is standing by the island’s greatest ever son.
Earlier on Tuesday, the charitable “Save the Children” ambassador was found guilty of defrauding Spanish tax authorities of tens of millions of euros. He managed to avoid jail time by accepting to his purse to fork out a massive 18.8 million euros in fines. However, escaping a 23-month prison sentence might come with consequences.
It is understood that the “tax fraud” tag which was slapped on Ronaldo in court in Madrid could remain stuck on his forehead in his native country, Portugal. The president of the tiny Iberian nation, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, was speaking to AFP when he left the matter in the hands of “chancellors of the national orders” and of “those with the legal power to see whether the law applies or not” when it comes to stripping a recipient of honorary titles like the ones Cristiano won; the Grand Officer of the Order of Prince Henry (2014) and the Grand Cross of the Portuguese Order of Merit (2016).
Madeira’s chief, meanwhile, has rubbished the association of bad deeds to CR7’s name.
“Here in Madeira, Cristiano Ronaldo has always been seen as a good person,” Albuquereque started.
“He is not a criminal,” he underlined before stating his point of view on the outcome of the tax fraud case.
“[It was] an interpretation of a tax issue.
“He is the most prestigious Portuguese in the world.”
Cristiano Ronaldo has the airport in Madeira renamed after him as well as a statue immortalizing his legacy. His golden list of individual titles includes the 2014 Madeira Medal of Merit which is the highest gift on the land. With his museum and CR7 Pestana Hotel, the UEFA Euro 2016 winning Portuguese icon has created jobs and offered pride to the people of his island.