Brazil’s Neymar acquitted in fraud case by Spanish court
The news comes after his side suffered a heartbreaking elimination in the Qatar World Cup to Croatia.
Brazilian superstar and Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar Jr has been acquitted of all charges in a fraud case relating to his transfer from Santos to Barcelona in 2013.
“It has not been proven that there was a false contract or that (Brazilian investment firm) DIS was intended to be harmed,” the Spanish court said in a brief statement.
The charges related to Neymar’s 2013 transfer have been ongoing for years, tying the star’s father and former Barcelona presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell.
Initially, The Brazilian footballer faced a two-year prison term and a $9.8 million fine for allegedly concealing the accurate transfer amount in the negotiations.
DIS argued it had lost out on a cut from the transfer because its actual value was understated, as Barcelona signed Neymar for $55.3 million. Still, prosecutors believed it was around $80.5 million.
Barcelona claims it paid $16.5 million to Santos, of which $6.5 million was given to the DIS.
In October of this year, Neymar denied participating in transfer talks.
“My father handles everything; I wasn’t involved in the negotiations. I only sign what he tells me to sign,” Neymar testified.
Real Madrid’s long-serving President Florentino Perez also appeared in the October trial, joining via a video conference where he claimed he did not know about the negotiations.
Perez said he didn’t share a personal relationship with Neymar, but Madrid was interested in offering the Brazilian $44.2 million before he joined Barcelona.
The news arrives good for Neymar, who mourned a heartbreaking elimination in the Qatar World Cup to Croatia in penalties.
The 30-year-old will take a break after the World Cup upset to Croatia before returning to PSG to face Strasbourg on 28 December.