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Modric appears in Madrid court in tax fraud case

(AP Photo/Paul White)

MADRID (AP) Croatia midfielder Luka Modric has appeared in court in a tax fraud case in Madrid.

Officials said Tuesday Modric was in court for about 10 minutes along with his wife and lawyer. The player's wife, Vadja, is also being accused of tax irregularities.

Spanish prosecutors have accused the Real Madrid midfielder of defrauding tax authorities of 870,728 euros (about $1 million) in 2013 and 2014.

Local newspaper El Mundo says Modric has already paid nearly 1 million ($1.2 million) to tax authorities to try to reach a settlement even though the player has denied any wrongdoing.

Court and tax officials say they cannot confirm or deny the payment. Details of Modric's court appearance have not been released.

Modric has been playing for Madrid since being signed from Tottenham in 2012.

Several other players have been targeted by Spanish tax authorities recently, including Lionel Messi who two years ago was found guilty - along with his father - for defrauding 4.1 million euros ($4.9 million) from income made from image rights.

Other players investigated include: Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo, Ricardo Carvalho, Angel Di Maria, Javier Mascherano, Radamel Falcao and Fabio Coentrao.

Former Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, currently at Manchester United, is also being investigated.

More AP Spanish soccer coverage:

Updated January 9, 2018

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