Barcelona and Cameroon Legend Samuel Eto pleads guilty to tax fraud

Oladimeji Adeoye

Oladimeji Adeoye

President of the Cameroon Football Federation Samuel Eto has pleaded guilty to tax fraud of £3.2m relating to his image rights while playing for Barcelona. The 41-year-old was arraigned at the Ciudad de la Justicia court in Barcelona along with his former agent Jose Maria Mesalles, who was given a 12-month cancelled sentence and a fine on Monday.

After pleading guilty to failing to declare income from the transfer of image rights between 2006 and 2009 Samuel Eto will pay a fine of £1.55m and the money he owes, the court declared.

He was given a 22-month cancelled prison sentence when he appeared at court in Spain yesterday.

Samuel responding to his charge said: “I admit the facts, and I am going to pay what I’m due, but let it be known that I was just a child then and that I always did what my former agent Jose Maria Mesalles, who I considered as a father, asked me to do at that time,”

Samuel Eto is not the first foreign player and manager to be prosecuted for tax fraud in Spain, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, JR Neymar, José Mourinho and others have been victims too.

Eto who played for Barcelona, RCD Mallorca, CD Leganés and Real Madrid in Spain scored 162 goals and had 35 assists in the La Liga with 130 of those goals scored for Barcelona. He further played for Inter, Chelsea, Everton and others before retiring in 2019.

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