Neymar denies wrongdoing over Barca transfer, says he signs what his father tells him to - GulfToday

Neymar denies wrongdoing over Barca transfer, says he signs what his father tells him to


Brazilian superstar Neymar runs during a match. File photo

Neymar only signed documents his father gave him and did nothing illegal, the Brazil superstar told a Spanish court  on Tuesday where he is on trial for alleged irregularities over his transfer to Barcelona nearly a decade ago.

"My father has always been in charge" of contract negotiations, the 30-year-old told the Barcelona court hearing the case. I sign what he tells me to."

The trial is the culmination of a years-long legal saga over his 2013 transfer, with Neymar one of nine defendants in the dock on corruption-related charges, among them his parents and their N&N company, which manages his affairs.

The proceedings began barely a month before the November 20 start of the World Cup, at which Neymar is expected to play a key role for Brazil.

Dressed in a dark suit and white shirt, the footballer said he didn't remember if he participated in talks leading to a pre-contract deal with Barcelona in 2011 ahead of his transfer two years later from the Brazilian club Santos.


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He said he had always dreamed of playing for Barca so he had prioritised their offer over that of other clubs, such as Real Madrid.

"Neymar never takes part in the negotiations," his father Neymar Da Silva Santos told the court.

If convicted, prosecutors have called for a two-year jail term and a 10-million-euro ($9.7 million) fine for the footballer who since 2017 has played for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

Prison terms of two years or less are never enforced in Spain for a first-time offender.

Investigators began probing the transfer after a 2015 complaint filed by DIS, a Brazilian company that owned 40 percent of the player's sporting rights when he was at Santos.

The firm claims that Neymar, Barcelona and the Brazilian club colluded to mask the true cost of his transfer thereby defrauding it of its legitimate financial interests.

Barca said the transfer was valued at 57.1 million euros, with 40 million euros paid to N&N and 17.1 million to Santos, of which 6.8 million was given to DIS.

Spanish prosecutors believe the actual value was at least 83 million euros.

Neymar had originally been due to testify later in the month but the court agreed to bring forward his appearance in order to avoid a clash with his busy PSG schedule.

After testifying, the court agreed Neymar and his family could return to Paris immediately and take part in the trial's conclusion, expected on October 31, by video conference.

The PSG forward, who scored the only goal of their Ligue 1 match against Marseille on Sunday night, had spent two hours in court on Monday for the opening of the trial but was excused by the judge to allow him time to rest.

Agence France-Presse

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