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SOCCER

Neymar in court over 2013 transfer to Barcelona

Neymar helped PSG beat Marseille in Ligue 1 on Sunday evening.

Update:
Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar (L) and his father Brazilian former footballer Neymar Senior look on during the opening audience at the courthouse in Barcelona on October 17, 2022, on the first day of their trial. - With the World Cup barely a month away, Brazilian superstar Neymar goes on trial in Spain over alleged irregularities in his transfer to Barcelona nearly a decade ago. The 30-year-old was acompanied by his parents, who are also in the dock on corruption-related charges over his 2013 transfer from the Brazilian club Santos. (Photo by Josep LAGO / AFP)
JOSEP LAGOAFP

PSG forward Neymar and eight others have gone on trial in Barcelona charged with fraud and corruption over the player’s transfer to Barcelona from Santos in 2013.

Neymar, 30, and his father arrived in Spain on Monday morning as Spanish prosecutors seek a two-year prison term and a €10 million fine for the Brazil international. They are also seeking a five-year jail term for former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and an €8.4 million fine for the Catalan club.

The case centres on the claim made by Brazilian investment firm DIS, which owned 40% of the rights to Neymar when he was at Santos, that it lost out on its rightful cut from the player’s transfer because the value of the deal was understated.

Neymar (L) attends the opening audience with his father Neymar Senior (R) at a courthouse in Barcelona on the first day of their trial.
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Neymar (L) attends the opening audience with his father Neymar Senior (R) at a courthouse in Barcelona on the first day of their trial.JOSEP LAGOGetty

Firm wants Neymar disqualified

DIS has demanded fines worth €149 million in total, aheavier jail term, and for Neymar to be disqualified from playing for the length of any sentence handed down by the judge.

“Neymar, with the connivance of his parents and the boards of directors of Barcelona and Santos, betrayed the trust of my clients,” DIS lawyer Paulo Nasser told a news conference in Barcelona on Thursday.

“The real cost of the transaction (between Santos and Barcelona) was €82 million, and only €17 million appeared as the official transfer,” Nasser said.

Law firm Baker McKenzie, who is defending Neymar and his family, said in a statement that they will argue that the Spanish courts “lack jurisdiction to prosecute the Neymar family” because the transfer involved a Brazilian national in Brazil.

Neymar going to World Cup with Brazil

Neymar, who is going to the 2022 World Cup with Brazil next month, lost an appeal over the case in Spain’s High Court in 2017, clearing the way for the trial. The hearing is expected to last seven days.

PSG beat Marseille

Neymar helped PSG beat Marseille on Sunday evening at the Parc des Princes by scoring the only goal of the match in the Ligue 1 fixture. The Brazilian netted on the stroke of half-time, a goal that was enough to consolidate PSG’s lead at the top of the table.

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