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Ron hit in pocket, and gets a rocket
CRISTIANO RONALDO'S future at Real Madrid is unclear because of the Bernabeu boo-boys and Spain's new top rate of income tax.
Premier League bigwigs owe a big debt to Spain's government for abolishing Beckham's Law and forcing top stars to cough up more than half their wages.
Last year the Spanish government scrapped a loophole named after David Beckham that allowed elite foreign workers — including professional sportsmen — to pay 24 per cent tax, HALF the top rate in Spain.
Becks was the first to benefit after its introduction just before his 2003 switch from Manchester United.
But news this week La Liga's high earners will pay 54 per cent of their earnings to the taxman means the Prem can now compete to attract the best in the world again.
Jose Maria Gay, economics professor at the University of Catalunya, said: "Now foreign players will be more expensive.
"Before, thanks to the cushy Beckham Law, we were among those who paid the least in that area and now we are among those who pay the most.
"It is 54 per cent — 56 per cent in Catalunya.
"The repeal of the Beckham Law along with the rise in income tax is a bad joke."
Spain's big-hitters are faced with disastrous consequences.
Real Madrid and Barcelona's wage bills stand to increase by tens of millions and already the effects are starting to show.
Eric Abidal is out of contract at the Nou Camp in the summer and he's stalled on a new deal because of the tax rise.
For £250,000-a-week Ronaldo, questions about his future are starting to intensify but not because of the new income tax rate.
He was targeted by sections of fans and did not celebrate his goal in the 5-1 win over Granada on Saturday.
Ron had also been heckled in last month's El Clasico at the Bernabeu.
That's despite topping the charts with 21 league goals — 26 in all games. And it is only January.
The Real-Ronaldo love affair seems to be fizzling out because while the Portuguese scores bucketloads, Barca keep winning Clasicos and trophies.
It seems for Madrid fans that counts for a lot more than Ronaldo's goals even though he scored the winner against Barca in the Spanish Cup final.
Ronaldo and Real boss Jose Mourinho will snub tonight's FIFA Balon D'Or Gala in Zurich.
The convenient excuse is that they play a return Copa Del Rey fixture in Malaga tomorrow.
But Barca are odds-on to walk away with the top gongs for Lionel Messi and boss Pep Guardiola.