Barcelona star Neymar and his father have spoken about the player's ongoing legal battle regarding his move from Santos, with the striker admitting the lengthy process has affected him.
Neymar is due in court on Tuesday, and in an interview with Globo TV (h/t Sport), he admitted he is worried:
When things begin to affect my family, it influences [me] a little - you do worry.
However, I’ve been given a gift from God which allows me to focus on what I like doing, which is playing football. I just concentrate on what I have to do.
My dad just wants me to dedicate myself to playing and to focus on the ball.
When you see a person you love being affected, suffering, people saying things that aren’t true… then it hurts you.
Before speaking without knowledge, saying lies, you have to present evidence.
His father also commented on the ongoing case, saying:
We want to bring this all to an end. It’s time to say enough. If these attorneys are looking for attention, they’ve achieved it. We want to put and end to this subject and we’re going to.
We’re going to clarify things in a definitive way. We wanted justice to resolve it, but now we are tired and we want to clarify everything as soon as possible.
Per Goal's Joe Wright, Neymar and his father have been asked to testify in the case brought forward by the investment company DIS, which claims Barcelona's decision to allegedly withhold the true value of his 2013 move caused the company financial damage.
Former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and current president Josep Maria Bartomeu will also testify, and all of them are adamant the club did nothing wrong. In 2014, the club paid £11.2 million to the Spanish authorities in the case, but they denied any offence, per BBC Sport.
The Blaugrana reportedly told authorities they paid £48.6 million to bring the Brazil international to Spain, when the true value of his transfer was much higher. Neymar also had some of his assets frozen amid accusations of tax evasion, per Rob Harris of the Associated Press.
The legal matters have dogged Neymar for some time now, but on the pitch there has been no sign of trouble. He has already scored 16 goals in 18 La Liga starts in 2015-16, per WhoScored.com.
During the interview, Neymar made it clear his father is the one handling the court case as much as possible, but it still can't be an easy situation for the 23-year-old.
This latest legal setback isn't just an issue between the two clubs or Barcelona and the investment company, as the bulk of the reported £48.6 million transfer fee was paid to Neymar's parents, who owned the most shares of his rights, per BBC Sport.
Tuesday's hearing could be a first major step toward clearing up the matter and putting all these legal issues in the past once and for all.