Neymar Responds To Accusations of Fraud In Barcelona Transfer
An investment firm called for Neymar to face a five-year prison sentence during his trial this week on charges of fraud and corruption related to his
Paris Saint-Germain striker Neymar Jr. told a court on Tuesday that he had not participated in negotiations for his move to Barcelona club “Childhood Dream” from Santos in 2013 but had signed on to what his father had told him.
Neymar’s parents, former Barcelona president Sandro Russell and representatives of the Spanish club and the Brazilian national team also appeared in court, following a complaint by Brazilian investment group DIS regarding the transfer amount of the player.
Along with Neymar-30 years old, eight other defendants are on trial on charges of fraud and corruption over relocation, including his parents, representatives of the two clubs, former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, Sandro Rossell and former Santos president Odilio Rodriguez.
All the accused denied any wrongdoing.
“I did not participate in the negotiations,” Neymar told the court in Barcelona in his first testimony at the trial, which began on Monday. My father always looked after her and he always would. I sign whatever I am asked to sign. ”
“Playing for Barcelona was always my dream, my childhood dream.”
The case focuses on a claim made by Brazilian investment firm DIS, which owned 40% of Neymar’s rights when he was in Brazil’s Santos, that it lost its legitimate deduction from the transaction because the value of the transaction was undervalued.
The alleged crime of Neymar Junior and his family is not punishable by law in Brazil.
Neymar and his father may face up to two years’ imprisonment if convicted. They may also face a fine of more than £8.7 million (10 million euros).
Russell could face five years’ imprisonment and an 8.4 million euro fine for Barcelona.
A July court document claims Barcelona began negotiations in 2011 with the player, paying him 40 million euros to secure his transfer when his contract with Santos expired in 2014, thereby preventing other clubs from signing him.
“Our goal was to prepare a professional plan for him in Europe, where we already had a place, we could learn the language, etc., and our knowledge of his dream to play for Barcelona, we signed a priority agreement with them,” Father Neymar da Silva Santos told the court.
None of the accused representatives or former club figures has yet testified. Neymar and his parents were entitled not to testify, but decided to do so, answering only the prosecutor’s questions and their own classes.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, appearing as a witness via video, told the court that his club made two offers of 45 million euros in 2011 and 36 million euros in 2013 to sign Neymar, but the player opted to join Barcelona instead.
Law firm Baker McKenzie, which defends Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 and his family, said in a statement that it would argue that Spanish courts lacked jurisdiction because the move involved a Brazilian citizen residing in Brazil.
Neymar’s lawyers say competition rules relate to products and services and do not apply to the transfer market.
The trial comes about a month before the World Cup kicks off in Qatar and is expected to run until the end of October.