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Neymar told a Spanish court on Tuesday that he only signed documents his father gave him and did nothing illegal. He was on trial for alleged irregularities in his transfer to Barcelona nearly a decade ago.The 30-year-old told the Barcelona court that was hearing the case that “my father has always been in charge” of contract negotiations.
“I do as he tells me to sign.”
Neymar is one of nine defendants in the dock on corruption-related charges. Among them are his parents and their N&N company, which manages his affairs. The trial is the culmination of a legal saga that lasted years over his transfer in 2013.
Just a month before the World Cup begins on November 20, Neymar is expected to play a significant role for Brazil.
The footballer, who was wearing a white shirt and dark suit, said he didn’t remember if he was involved in negotiations that led to a pre-contract deal with Barcelona in 2011 prior to his transfer from Santos in Brazil two years later.
According to him, he had prioritized Barca’s offer over that of other clubs like Real Madrid because he had always dreamed of playing for them.
Neymar Da Silva Santos, his father, told the court, “Neymar never takes part in the negotiations.”
The footballer, who has played for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) since 2017, faces a 10-million-euro fine and a two-year prison sentence if he is found guilty.
In Spain, first-time offenders are never sentenced to more than two years in prison.
DIS, a Brazilian company that owned 40% of the player’s sporting rights while he was at Santos, filed a complaint in 2015, prompting the investigation into the transfer.
The company asserts that Neymar, Barcelona, and the Brazilian club worked together to conceal the true cost of his transfer, depriving it of its legitimate financial interests.
According to Barca, the transfer was worth 57.1 million euros, with 17.1 million going to Santos and 40 million going to N&N, with 6.8 million going to DIS.
The actual value, according to Spanish prosecutors, was at least 83 million euros.
Related News Neymar was originally scheduled to testify later in the month; however, the court agreed to move his appearance forward so that it wouldn’t conflict with his packed PSG schedule.
The judge agreed that Neymar and his family could immediately return to Paris and participate in the trial’s expected conclusion on October 31 via video conference.
The PSG forward, who scored the only goal of their Ligue 1 match against Marseille on Sunday night, was excused by the judge to give him time to rest after spending two hours in court on Monday for the start of the trial.
DIS also asserts that the 2011 pre-contract agreement with Barca caused financial harm, asserting that it prevented other clubs from making offers and affected the value of the transfer fee. This is not my responsibility.
However, Neymar Sr. told the court that the Brazilian club at the time had authorized the talks and that “it was Santos’ responsibility” to inform DIS, not his.
Two former Barca presidents, Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, as well as former Santos boss Odilio Rodrigues Filho, are among the other defendants in the case.
35 million euros are what DIS wants to get back.
The 40 million euros paid to Neymar by Barca was a “legal signing bonus that is normal in the football transfer market,” according to Neymar’s lawyers.
Since joining PSG, the footballer has had one of his best seasons yet.
He scored his ninth league goal on Sunday night against Marseille, and he has seven assists in 11 Ligue 1 matches.
Neymar is expected to be a big part of Brazil’s World Cup success in Qatar. The South American giants want to win the trophy for the sixth time and for the first time since 2002.
He will lead the Selecao in their November 24 Group G opener against Serbia.
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