Colombian superstar Shakira was hit with tax fraud allegations in Spain. AFP / JORGE GUERRERO

Colombian pop sensation Shakira could have saved a massive fortune to the tune of about £100 million if she had decided to date former Spain captain Sergio Ramos instead of Gerard Pique.

The claim comes from her lawyer, Pau Molins, who directly attributes the singer's highly publicised tax fraud debacle to her former lover, who also played for Spain's National Football Team. According to Molins, Shakira found herself in trouble with the tax authorities due largely to the fact that her ex, Pique, played for FC Barcelona on the club level and lived in Catalunya.

In contrast, Ramos lived in the Spanish capital, where he played for Real Madrid until the summer of 2021. Apparently, this is important because the issues that Shakira encountered with Spain's wealth tax was directly related to where she kept her residence in the country.

Where did Shakira live during her relationship with Pique?

Shakira and Pique met at the 2010 FIFA World Cup where she sang the famous theme song "It's Time For Africa (Waka-Waka)." Spain won the tournament, with both Pique and Ramos in the roster.

Shortly after the tournament, Shakira and Pique went public with their romance, which lasted eleven years. During this period, it is understood that Shakira travelled extensively due to her career as a global pop superstar. She claims that she only began to settle more permanently in Barcelona once her second son with Pique, Sasha, was born in 2015.

Molins revealed that Shakira faced six tax fraud charges instead of just three precisely because she lived with Pique in Barcelona. Apparently, Madrid residents do not pay wealth tax, meaning she could have escaped the trouble if she had lived with Ramos instead. In fact, even if Shakira lived with Ramos in his hometown in Sevilla, which lies in the southern region of Andalusia, she would have still been exempted from the wealth tax.

Speaking to the press after finalising the singer's plea deal on Monday, Molins said: "Shakira's infatuation has cost her 120 million euros. If she had fallen in love with Sergio Ramos instead of Gerard Pique, it would have cost her a lot less."

The tax fraud case stems largely from a dispute over where Shakira lived between 2012 and 2014. While she started her relationship with Pique in 2010, she maintained a residence in the Bahamas and had been travelling the world for work.

Her team insists that she should not have been considered a resident of Spain in the period in question, and should not have been required to pay wealth tax to the country.

Shakira decides to end the case and move on

On Monday, Shakira pleaded guilty to the tax fraud charges and entered a plea deal instead of allowing the case to go to trial. Molins thought that they could have fought the case in a trial, but that would have dragged the issue for several more months, even years.

"They go on about the equality of all Spaniards, but it turns out that if you're resident in Catalonia you can go to jail for a crime they couldn't imprison you for in Madrid," he said, adding: "With international artists, it's very difficult. Where do they live if they spend all their lives travelling? In 2011 Shakira did a world tour and visited 74 countries. It's very complicated to determine where they should pay their taxes."

Nevertheless, Shakira pleaded guilty to six counts of tax fraud and managed to dodge a prison sentence by paying a £7 million fine. She also gave a statement saying that she took the decision to free herself and her children from the case as soon as possible despite the fact that her lawyers believed she could have won through trial.

The statement, as quoted by The Sun read: "I have decided to finally resolve this matter with the best interest of my kids at heart who do not want to see their mom sacrifice her well-being in this fight.

"I need to move past the stress and emotional toll of the last several years and focus on the things I love - my kids and all the opportunities to come in my career, including my upcoming world tour and my new album, both of which I am extremely excited about.

"I admire tremendously those who have fought these injustices to the end, but for me, today, winning is getting my time back for my kids and my career."

Ramos is of course married to Spanish media personality Pilar Rubio, and there was never any rivalry between him and Pique for Shakira's heart. Their rivalry remained mostly on the pitch, but Molins words were surely ignited by the fact that the two recently saw each other.

Ramos presented Shakira with her Latin Grammy Award in Sevilla on Thursday. She won Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Pop Song for her hit single "Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53" which is ironically a diss track against Pique and his new girlfriend, Clara Chia Marti.