Ex-Chelsea central defender Ricardo Carvalho has been sentenced to seven months in prison after a Spanish court found him guilty of tax offences.

The offences relate to his time in Spain during which he played for Real Madrid under the management of Jose Mourinho.

He has admitted to hiding money from image rights in 2011 and 2012 and is ordered to pay a fine of €142,822 (£128,000). Prosecutors were pushing for 12 months in prison, along with a €300,000 (£269,000) fine – but the Spanish court acknowledged the 39-year-old’s cooperation, ordering a seven-month sentence instead.

Carvalho now plays his football in China for Shanghai SIPG and is unlikely to face any time in jail as, under Spanish law, any non-violent crime that carries an imprisonment of fewer than two years sees that sentence suspended.

The Portuguese defender has had a glittering career, with much of it alongside Mourinho; the two of them took Porto to Champions League glory, paving the way for their move to Chelsea.

His partnership with John Terry at Stamford Bridge must go down as one of the greatest defensive lineups of all time, bringing three Premier League trophies to West London. Two of these titles came in back to back seasons.

He departed to rejoin Mourinho under the pristine spotlights of Real Madrid to add a La Liga title to his name in 2012.

Success follows the resolute defender wherever he plays and despite a rocky time at Monaco, he was still a part of the Portugal squad that spectacularly won the European Championships in 2016.

Now easing into retirement in China, Blues fans will look back fondly at Ricardo Carvalho for his work on the pitch, despite his wrongdoings, playing the Chelsea way with grit and determination.

Header image by Jan S0L0 (CC BY-SA 2.0), via Wikimedia Commons