It has not been a good month for Barcelona superstars. First the state has taking Lionel Messi to court over not paying his taxes and now Spanish Prosecutors want to charge hois Brazilian teammate Neymar fraud relating to his controversial 2013 transfer from Santos.
The transfer which took Neymar to the Camp Nou has been the subject of multiple court investigations in both Brazil and Spain.
At the heart of the case is a complaint made by Brazilian investment group DIS, which held a 40 percent share of Neymar’s rights earlier in his career. Since the “official” transfer price that Barcelona paid Santos was only €17m, DIS received only €6.8 million of Santos.
However, Spanish judicial authorities have estimated the number of simultaneous deals in the transfer amounted to at least €83.3 million, with the difference allegedly going to Neymar and his family, and Santos.
Prosecutors want Neymar, his father Neymar Da Silva Santos, Rosell and FC Barcelona itself to be tried for “private corruption among individuals.”
They also wants Rosell, FC Barcelona, Brazil’s Santos and its president to be tried for “fraud.”
Neymar, his parents, Rosell, current Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu and senior figures from Santos all appeared in a Barcelona court last February to give evidence to Judge de la Mata relating to the same transfer.
That case stalled in March when the judge asked both the investigators and defence teams to begin again and reformulate their submissions, now acting within the legal framework of Barcelona. At the time the Camp Nou club claimed this was a victory for their perspective on the case.
At first, Barca claimed the transfer fee paid when Neymar joined the club was €57.1m, but they later admitted to paying out over €80m in total.
Bartomeu, Rosell, who resigned in January 2013, nd Neymar Sr. have all maintained that, while the transfer was unusually complicated, no wrongdoing took place.
The player said back in February that he has been affected by the legal issues that have followed him since his arrival at the Nou Camp.
“I focus just on doing what I have to do,” he told O Globo.
“My father just wants me to focus on playing and on the ball.
When you see the person you love being attacked, suffering, people saying things which are not true… then it hurts you.
Before speaking without knowledge, telling lies, you must present proof.”