Cristiano Ronaldo brushed off the tax storm clouding his Real Madrid future by scoring the only goal of the game as Portugal beat hosts Russia 1-0 at the Confederations Cup on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old netted after just eight minutes to give the Euro 2016 winners their first victory in Group A as they leapfrog Russia in the standings.
The Portuguese camp had insisted ahead of this game that their skipper was focused solely on matters on the field in Russia despite the speculation surrounding his future at Real.
He has been accused by Spanish authorities of evading 14.7 million euros ($16.5m) in tax and has been summoned to appear in court next month in Madrid.
The four-time Ballon d’Or winner — the world’s highest-paid athlete according to Forbes magazine — has said his “conscience is clear” in the matter but has reportedly threatened to leave Real.
Despite the off-field disruption, Ronaldo picked up the man-of-the-match award in Portugal’s opening 2-2 draw with Mexico on Sunday.
And he was all smiles escorting a young mascot in a wheelchair out onto the pitch in Moscow before he netted his first goal of the tournament inside eight minutes at the home of Spartak Moscow.
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