BARCELONA footballer Gerard Pique has landed a €2.1 million pre-Christmas windfall courtesy of Spain’s Supreme Court.
Pique, 34, has been given a refund of a 2016 fine dating back to returns filed between 2008 and 2010 when he played for Manchester United.
The money revolved around the sale of image rights controlled by a company called Kerard Project 2006 in which Pique was a shareholder and was run by his brother.
The National Court ruled five years ago that the company was a front for Pique to avoid tax.
The defender’s partner, singer Shakira, is currently embroiled in a long-running tax battle with Spanish authorities over €14.5 million they claim she owes them between 2012 and 2014.
She says she was based abroad at the time and owes them nothing.
Supreme Court judges ruled that Gerard Pique was within his rights to offset his UK social security contributions against his tax payments in Spain.
A Supreme Court statement said: “Contributions paid to Social Security in another European Union state, when they are mandatory for workers, must be considered as deductible for income tax.”
The UK was a member of the EU at the time that Pique made his National Insurance contributions.
The statement added that the ruling opens the door to other sportspeople to make claims on the same basis as Pique.