Neymar testifies at trial over 2013 transfer from Santos to Barcelona

As part of the trial currently playing out in Barcelona over his 2013 transfer from Santos, Neymar notably testified that only his father was involved in negotiations, as reported by L’Équipe.

Amid discrepancies over the official fee paid by the Blaugrana for the then-young prodigy, the Brazilian investment firm which held 40% of Neymar’s sporting rights, DIS, is accusing the forward and Barcelona of corruption and fraud. The defendants have denied any wrongdoing.

The Brazilian was allowed to testify on Tuesday owing to arrangements made according to his working hours, with Paris Saint-Germain in action against Ajaccio on Friday.

Neymar explained to the judge that he had not been a part of negotiations for the transfer, explaining that his father handles that aspect of his career and that “I sign what he tells me to”, a statement which was backed up by former Barcelona director Raúl Sanllehí.

When asked about his motivations for joining Barcelona, the 30-year-old said that it had been his childhood dream to join the Catalans, a statement which was supported by Florentino Pérez in his testimony, with the Real Madrid president indicating that the player’s entourage had turned down an offer from Los Blancos in 2011.

Neymar’s father then spoke and described the N&N company held by the family, which is the subject of the legal proceedings along with Santos and Barcelona, who if found guilty could be hit with fines. Former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, who quit in 2014 following the opening of an investigation into the Neymar transfer, could be risking a five-year prison sentence.

DIS were hoping for a seven-year prison sentence for Neymar, whilst the prosecutor has suggested two years. The prison sentence would likely be a suspended one. The final verdict will come on October 31, but Neymar’s defence – lawyers from Baker McKenzie – have prepared several arguments in his favour, for instance that DIS received a 500% return on investment, or that the alleged crimes were committed by Brazilians in Brazil, where they are not punishable.




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