Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa has pleaded guilty to defrauding the Spanish state of more than €1 million (GHC6,502,278) after failing to declare payments of over €5m earned from his 2014 move to Chelsea.
The striker was sentenced to six months in prison on Thursday, June 4, 2020, but Spanish law states that non-violent crimes with a punishment of under two years imprisonment can instead be resolved with a fine for first-time offenders.
In Costa’s case, the Brazil-born Spanish international will pay an additional amount of just over €500,000 on top of the missing €1m in order to fully satisfy the courts, with a failure to declare image rights also having come under the state’s microscope.
Costa left Atletico Madrid in July of 2014 after Chelsea agreed to meet the forward’s £32m buy-out clause.
A divisive figure due to his common practice of football’s so-called dark arts, Costa won two Premier League titles and a League Cup during his time at Stamford Bridge, bagging a respectable 59 goals across 120 appearances.
His exit from the Blues came in rather acrimonious circumstances, with then head coach Antonio Conte having sent the player a text message telling him that he was no longer part of his plans for the West London club.
Costa eventually secured a deal to the Spanish capital in 2017 but he could not represent the club until the beginning of 2018 due to a FIFA-imposed transfer ban.
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