Neymar Cleared of Fraud, Still Faces Corruption Trial After Barcelona Transfer

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2017

Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar leaves Spain's national court in Madrid on February 2, 2016. Barcelona star Neymar and president Josep Maria Bartomeu will be called to give evidence this week in the murky case over the deal which brought the Brazilian to the Catalan giants from Santos in 2013.   AFP PHOTO/ TOM GANDOLFINI / AFP / Tom Gandolfini        (Photo credit should read TOM GANDOLFINI/AFP/Getty Images)
TOM GANDOLFINI/Getty Images

Barcelona star Neymar has been cleared of fraud, as confirmed on Thursday by the Spanish National High Court.

However, according to Joseph Cassinelli of Reuters (h/t The Independent), the Brazilian is still set to face a corruption trial in relation to his transfer to the Camp Nou from Santos in 2013.

Altamiro Bezerra, an advisor for NN Consultoria, a company set up by Neymar and his family, told Reuters he was happy with the outcome nonetheless, per Cassinelli.

"We are very happy as this was a favourable decision for us," he said. "It has eliminated the question of fraud in the contracts and we are also certain that we will be absolved of corruption."

As noted in the piece, the player and his parents are set to stand trial along with NN Consultoria, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, his predecessor Sandro Rosell and the club itself.

Neymar's switch to Barcelona in 2013 is under investigation.
Neymar's switch to Barcelona in 2013 is under investigation.David Ramos/Getty Images

The case revolves around the accusation that the price of Neymar's move to Barcelona was not fully declared, meaning DIS, who held 40 per cent of the player's rights at the time of the move, missed out on what they were entitled to as part of the deal.

It's noted that DIS were in receipt of €17.1 million after the transfer went through, although the courts determined Barcelona should have paid them €25.2 million based on the true value of the sale.

As relayed by Cassinelli, prosecutors in the case have called for Neymar to serve two years in jail and pay a €10 million fine.

It's added the 25-year-old is unlikely to spend any time behind bars, although according to Agence France-Presse (h/t the Guardian) a judicial sentence may see the Barcelona man banned from football.

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