Barcelona forward Neymar has been summoned to testify in court in an ongoing fraud investigation regarding his transfer from Santos to the Blaugrana in 2013, according to Agence France-Presse.
The case centres on the initial fee declared by Barca for the purchase of Neymar, which has since been found to be inaccurate, according to a High Court investigation.
Continue for updates.
Neymar Testimony Set for Feb. 2
Wednesday, Jan. 27
"The judge of the High Court in Spain, Jose de la Mata, has dismissed requests from FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and Neymar’s lawyers to postpone the giving of evidence," reported AS. "Bartomeu will do so on Feb. 1 with the player and his father involved the following day."
Barca Vice-President Mocks Neymar's Legal Pursuers
Monday, Jan. 18
"Every day Neymar plays better and people enjoy his performances, it will be more complicated," Carles Vilarrubi told Catalan radio station RAC 1 (h/t Tom Webber of Goal).
"There is a machine that is working against him and I'm sure in the end they will say Neymar was in Dallas the day [John F.] Kennedy was killed," Vilarrubi added.
Details of Neymar Allegations Revealed
Wednesday, Jan. 13
According to Marca, reports from radio station Cadena SER stated prosecutors were seeking for Neymar to be charged with two counts of fraud and corruption in relation to his transfer. Additionally, it's noted the prosecution want to bring the charges against Bartomeu, his predecessor Sandro Rosell, Neymar’s father and the two clubs involved in the deal itself.
The Guardian summarised the case, brought by Brazilian investment fund DIS:
DIS, which held 40 percent of Neymar's sports rights when he was in Brazil, claims it only received that percentage for €17.1 million that Santos was allegedly paid for the Brazilian when, according to high court investigations, the deal cost €83.3 million (£62 million).
A separate case of tax fraud has also been in motion over the deal. "Prosecutors alleged that the Spanish exchequer had been defrauded of €12.7 [million] in taxes," noted the Guardian.
Brazil Star Not Disturbed by Off-Pitch Disturbances
On the pitch, Neymar has been having a brilliant campaign. He recently finished third behind team-mate Lionel Messi and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo in FIFA's 2015 Ballon d’Or voting, which determines the best player in the game in a given year.
Since signing from Santos in 2013, Neymar has matured rapidly as a player. Last season, he helped Barca to a historic treble, including a famous Champions League win. The Brazilian captain netted in both legs of the quarter-final, both legs of the semi-final and the final itself, as Barcelona won their fifth European Cup in Berlin.
In 2016, he will help Barca toward their goal of becoming the first team to retain the Champions League trophy. Should he succeed, one suspects it won't be long until he's lifting the Ballon d'Or trophy himself.