Neymar testified in court that he was not involved in Barcelona transfer talks

BARCELONA — Brazilian football star Neymar Jr. did not participate in talks on Tuesday about his move from Santos to Barcelona, ​​his ‘childhood dream’ club, in 2013, but his father told him signed.

In addition to the 30-year-old Neymar, eight other defendants, including his parents, representatives of two clubs, former Barcelona presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell and former Santos president Odiglio Rodriguez, have been linked to the transfer. He is on trial for fraud and corruption.

All defendants deny wrongdoing.

“I didn’t participate in the negotiations. My father always took care of it and always does. I sign everything he tells me to sign,” said Neymar. He spoke in court in Barcelona during the first testimony of the trial, which began on Monday.

“It has always been my dream, my childhood dream, to play for Barcelona.”

The lawsuit alleges that Brazilian investment firm DIS, which owned 40% of the rights when Neymar was at Santos, Brazil, lost a fair cut from the transfer because the deal was undervalued. I am focused.

Spanish prosecutors are seeking two years in prison for Neymar and a fine of 10 million euros ($9.8 million). They also want Roselle to serve him in prison for five years and Barcelona to fine him €8.4m.

neymar leaves the court
On October 17, 2022, in Barcelona, ​​Spain, Brazil’s Neymar leaves court after being tried on charges of fraud and corruption over his 2013 transfer from Santos to FC Barcelona. (Nacho Doce/Reuters)

According to court documents released in July, Barcelona began negotiations with him on 15 November 2011 and paid him 4000 to secure a transfer when his contract with Santos expired in 2014. million euros that prevented other clubs from signing him.

“Our intention was to prepare a career plan for him in Europe, which was already established, he could learn the language, and realize his dream of playing for Barcelona. Knowing, we signed a preferential contract with them,” the player’s father, Neymar da Silva Santos, told the court.

Neither the club’s representatives nor the former defendants have yet provided evidence. Neymar and his parents had the right not to testify, but decided to do so.

Neymar’s lawyers say competition rules relate to products and services and do not apply to the transfer market.

The court has since heard testimony from former Barca point man Andre Curie in Brazil, and his testimony as a witness in negotiations over the player was expected to be key to the case.

Curie said Barcelona had asked Neymar’s father to receive a letter from Santos authorizing him to start negotiations with the Spanish club.

He said Barcelona had agreed to proceed with a €10 million loan to Neymar’s parents in 2011.

Neymar and his parents have been excused from staying for the remainder of the trial, which is expected to last until Monday.

Neymar will resume training at Paris Saint-Germain, where he joined in 2017, on Wednesday. The team will face Ajaccio on Friday and Maccabi Haifa in a Champions League match on 25 October.

Fernando Callas