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American officials can demand the extradition of Cristiano Ronaldo on a European arrest warrant, a legal expert claims.
But one way the football superstar could avoid facing a US court on rape allegations would be to return to his native Portugal because the warrant can’t be used for suspects living in their own country.
Professor Emilio Cortes, a leading Spanish lawyer, said: “The rules in Europe and the US are different – and the American authorities have the possibility to solicit the extradition of Ronaldo unless he is in Portugal.”
The warning comes a week after Las Vegas police reopened an investigation into allegations by Kathryn Mayorga, 34, that she was raped by Ronaldo in June 2009.
The lawyer’s advice has far-reaching implications for the striker, who joined Italian club Juventus in a four-year £105million deal in July.
He could end up playing out his career in Portugal.
Cortes also claimed the £288,000 payment made in 2010 to buy Ms Mayorga’s silence would be seen in the US as “an explicit acknowledgement of having committed the crime”.
The latest move came as Ms Mayorga’s lawyer, Leslie Stovall, says he “potentially” has three more claims surrounding the ex-Manchester United player.
Ronaldo’s mum Dolores and sister Katia have posted pics of him in a Superman cape asking fans to show support for “justice”.
The 33-year-old has told his 75 million social media followers: “I firmly deny the accusations.”



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