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Already Facing Ban Hammer, Cristiano Ronaldo Entangled in Espionage Scandal Alongside Ex-Italy Prime Minister – Reports

Published 03/02/2024, 10:53 PM EST

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via Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo is currently in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. The Portuguese superstar’s troubles are compounding as reports suggest that CR7 is stuck alongside a former Italian Prime Minister in an indirect connection with an espionage case. This huge blow comes just days after he received a ban following an incident involving an obscene gesture toward Al Shabab fans. His absence proved costly as he failed to appeal against the ban, forcing Al Nassr to settle for a draw against Al Hazm. Now, what’s this other scandal all about?

As complied by Gazeta Brazil, the Prosecutor’s Office in Perugia, Italy, uncovered details involving many revered names. Italy’s Finance Guard lieutenant, Pasquale Striano, is the man reportedly responsible for the scandal. He is under probe for allegedly accessing tax, anti-mafia, and money laundering databases to gather information on various high-profile individuals. Aside from Cristiano Ronaldo and then Juventus President Andrea Agnelli, and ex-PM Matteo Renzi, five ministers, including the widow of Silvio Berlusconi, Marta Fascina, Giuseppe Conte’s partner, Irene Pivetti, and the President of the Italian Football Federation, Gabriele Gravina, are also on the list.

via Reuters

Striano, who works in the National Anti-Mafia Directorate, allegedly had a particular interest in Juventus FC. He is accused of accessing these files countless times without authorization, facing charges of unauthorized access to a computer system, forgery, and disclosure of confidential information. The investigation commenced about a year ago following a complaint from Defense Minister Guido Crosetto regarding the publication of a document about his taxation in an Italian newspaper. Whatever it may be, this certainly poses a huge problem for Ronaldo. Remarkably, other parties also face scrutiny. 

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More details about the espionage case that involves Cristiano Ronaldo

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Pasquale Striano is accused of obtaining documents pertaining to several high-ranking officials, including Minister of Business Adolfo Urso, Minister of Agriculture Francesco Lollobrigida (who is also Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s brother-in-law), and Undersecretary of the Presidency Giovanbattista Fazzolari. He also apparently received information on the former deputy secretary of the Northern League party and two posts inside the Força Itália group. Additionally, Guido Crosetto, Alfredo Urso, Francesco Lollobrigida, Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, and Marina Elvira Calderone are among the ministers targeted in the espionage operations.

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Similarly, undersecretaries Giovanbattista Fazzolari, Claudio Durigon, and Andrea Delmastro’s names are also there. Furthermore, Italian rapper Fedez and various journalists appear on the records. However, this constitutes only a portion of the suspected illicit offensives, with Striano allegedly involved in only 800 instances of unauthorized access out of a total of 5,000 accesses to state databases conducted between 2018 and recently.

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Either way, it remains to be seen how Cristiano Ronaldo will navigate such turbulent waters.

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Written by:

Abhishek Mishra

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Abhishek Mishra is a senior Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. His early exposure to playing soccer earned him many accolades at college divisions, making him a sports enthusiast. While closely following daily updates for over a decade, Abhishek is well-versed in European soccer and now the MLS, as well.
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Edited by:

Daniel D'Cruz