The world’s most expensive football player has been cleared after going on trial in Spain
The footballer had appeared in court in October. © David Zorrakino / Europa Press via Getty Images
A Spanish court has acquitted Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain striker Neymar of fraud and corruption charges related to his transfer from Santos to FC Barcelona in 2013.
The 30-year-old went on trial with his father, ex-Barca presidents Josep Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, ex-Santos president Odilio Rodrigues, and the two clubs in question.
All parties involved were found not guilty after a trial was brought forward by Spanish prosecutors in October.
On October 31, the state prosecutor announced that a decision to drop the charges had been made after hearing Rosell and Bartomeu’s testimonies, as he did not see any evidence of a crime being committed.
Brazilian company DIS, which owned 40% of Neymar’s rights when he was at Santos, had filed a complaint alleging that it had lost out on money from his transfer to Barcelona due its true value being understated.
✅| OFFICIAL: The Court of Barcelona acquits Neymar Jr. and the other defendants (Neymar's father, Rosell, Bartomeu, FCB, Santos and the company of the Neymar) of the crimes of fraud and corruption between individuals. pic.twitter.com/fvoJnE8GCw
— Barça Buzz (@Barca_Buzz) December 13, 2022
“The real cost of the transaction (between Santos and Barcelona) was €82 million ($80 million), and only €17 million ($16.6 million) appeared as the official transfer,” DIS lawyer Paulo Nasser said at a press conference when the trial began.
DIS demanded a five-year prison sentence for Neymar and jail time for Rosell and Bartomeu in addition to €149 million ($157 million) in fines for the trial’s defendants.
Spanish prosecutors had initially sought a two-year jail term for Neymar and payment of a €10 million ($10.5 million) fine. They also wanted five-year jail terms for Rosell and Bartomeu, plus a fine of €8.4 million ($8.9 million) fine for FC Barcelona.