Why was Neymar in court? What happened to ex Barcelona star, will he go to prison, what is case, and net worth
Brazilian footballer Neymar could face jail as he stands on trial for corruption-related charges
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The Brazilian superstar Neymar has told the court he “did not participate in negotiations” over his his transfer to Barcelona which took place nearly a decade ago. The striker, 30, arrived at the Provincial Court of Barcelona on Monday 17 October 2022 for the start of the trial.
Neymar is one of nine defendants on trial on corruption-related charges, among the nine are his parents and their N&N company, which manages his affairs. The Brazilian is set to feature in this year’s World Cup, taking place later this winter in Qatar, but could face two years in jail and a £8.6million fine if convicted.
The 30-year-old began his senior career with the Brazilian side Santos in 2009 and made 177 league appearances scoring 107 goals for them until he moved to Barcelona in 2013. He made his professional debut aged 17 and helped the club to win two successive Campeonato Paulista championships, a Copa do Brasil and the 2011 Copa Libertadores. During his time at Santos, Neymar was also twice named the South American Footballer of the Year in 2011 and 2012.
So why is Neymar on trial and what could he face?
What happened in the 2013 transfer?
A complaint was filed by the Investment firm DIS in 2015, two years after Neymar’s transfer from Santos to Barcelona. DIS is a Brazilian firm which owned 40% of the player’s sporting rights while Neymar was at Santos. The La Liga giants reported that the transfer cost €57.1million (£49.4million) but prosecutors believe it to have actually been at least €83million.
Barcelona said it paid €40m to N&N and a further €17.1m to Neymar (of which €6.8m was subsequently given to DIS). However, DIS have alleged that Neymar, Barcelona and Santos colluded together in order to cover up the actual cost of the deal.
Along with Neymar and his parents, the other defendants on trial include two former Barcelona presidents, Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, and the ex-Santos boss Odilio Rodrigues Filho.
What is happening in Barcelona this week?
The BBC has reported that Neymar told the court “My father always took care of it and always will. I didn’t participate in the negotiations. I sign everything he (his father) tells me to sign. Playing for Barcelona was always my dream, a childhood dream.”
The PSG’s star’s father, Neymar da Silva Santos also told the court: “Our intention was to prepare a career plan for him in Europe, which we had in place already established. And knowing his dream to play for Barcelona, we signed that priority agreement with them.”
DIS are seeking a five-year prison term for Neymar while the Spanish prosecutors are wanting a two-year prison sentence and €10m fine. They are also hoping for a five-year jail term for Rosell and €8.4m fine for Barcelona
Where is Neymar now?
Currently the Brazilian international plays for Paris Saint-Germain and is having one of his best seasons since joining the French side in 2017. His transfer was a world record fee of €222m. He scored the only goal in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Marseille at the Parc des Princes, Paris and he now has nine goals and seven assists in 11 matches so far in Ligue 1.
Neymar is also expected to play a key role for Brazil at the upcoming World Cup and the South American giants will hope to win the trophy for the first time since 2002. If not imprisoned, Neymar will lead Brazil into their Group G opener against Serbia on 24 November 2022.
What is Neymar’s net worth?
The Brazilian is set to have a net worth of around $200million according to Celebrity Net Worth. He is on a salary of $78m and earns a further $18million from endorsements.