Former Chelsea striker and Spain international Diego Costa is in danger of spending time in prison for tax fraud and has been told to face six months behind bars ahead of his trial that has been set for June 4.
A report in Spain via Cadena Ser, suggests that the Spaniard has defrauded the Spanish state of over 1 million euros for declining to declare payments regarding his move from Atletico Madrid to Chelsea in 2014, as well as for image rights.
The prosecutors in the case want the 31-year-old striker to face six months behind bars and also pay a fine of 507,208 euros.
However, as has been the tradition in Spain with other footballers that had similar cases, Costa is unlikely to serve any time in prison.
According to Spanish laws, sentences that are under two years for non-violent crimes can be exchanged for a fine and this ensures that Costa will part with 36,500 euros, on top of the over half a million fine in order to stay out from prison.
It can be recalled that Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his dad Jorge were guilty of a similar offense in 2017 with the Argentine initially hit with a 21-month jail sentence.
Messi went on to pay a fine of 252,000 euros. The Argentina international recently revealed that the incident nearly made him end his stay at Barcelona.
“At that time, with the mess of the treasury, I wanted to leave, not for wanting to leave Barca but wanting to leave Spain,” the Argentina star said.
“I felt that I was being very mistreated and I didn’t want to stay here. I never had an official offer because everyone knew my idea to stay here.”
Former Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo was also on the receiving end of a fine in January 2019. The Juve forward who arrived for the trial from Turin also paid a big fine to avoid a 23-month jail term.
Diego Costa has been linked with a move away from Atletico Madrid and has scored just 2 goals in La Liga this season in 8 starts for the Rojiblancos.
The striker has a reputation that would make some folks want to see him behind bars although this won’t be the case eventually.