Brazilian football star Neymar was acquitted on Tuesday by a Spanish court that tried him in October for alleged irregularities during his transfer to FC Barcelona in 2013, a trial marked by the surprise withdrawal of the prosecution's charges.
The judges of the provincial hearing of Barcelona decided the "release of Neymar" and the eight other defendants, considering that they had not found an offense and therefore "damages for the plaintiffs" in this case, indicated in a press release this court Barcelonan.
Release of the other eight defendants
In addition to Neymar and his parents, two ex-presidents of Barça - Sandro Rosell and Josep María Bartomeu - and an ex-manager of Brazilian club Santos, Odilio Rodrigues Filho, were being prosecuted alongside Barça, Santos and the company founded by Neymar's parents to manage his career.
This trial, relating to acts of corruption and fraud, opened a month before the start of the World Cup in Qatar, where "Ney" and the Seleçao were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Croatia.
His final was marked by a real twist when the prosecution, which initially demanded two years in prison and ten million euros against the Paris Saint-Germain striker for corruption, withdrew its charges against all the defendants.
Holder of 40% of Neymar's rights when he played for Santos before leaving for Barcelona, the Brazilian company DIS took the case to court in 2015, claiming that Barça, Neymar and his family, then Santos in a second time, had teamed up to hide the real amount of the transfer and "swindle" it.
She also criticized them for not having informed her of the existence of an exclusive contract signed in 2011 between the Brazilian star and Barça, which distorted – according to her – the transfer window.
Lack of evidence
The prosecutor, who had endorsed the charges of DIS, finally considered that they “were not built on evidence” but “on presumptions” and that the file fell within the civil and not criminal justice.
This reversal had highlighted deep differences within the Spanish prosecution on this complex case originally investigated by Madrid prosecutors before Barcelona took over the case.
Following the public prosecutor's about-face, the accusation now rested only with DIS, which represented in this trial the "specific accusation" - a legal status allowing the alleged victim of the offense to seek sentences.
As such, the Brazilian society had requested two and a half years in prison against Neymar against five years required before the opening of the trial.
Barça had initially estimated the cost of the transfer at 57.1 million euros (40 million for Neymar and his family and 17.1 for Santos) but the Spanish justice estimated that it had actually cost at least 83 million.
DIS, which received 6.8 million euros out of the 17.1 officially paid to the Brazilian club, claimed 35 million euros in compensation.
During the trial, Neymar said he did not "remember" to have participated in the negotiations of the 2011 exclusivity agreement, ensuring that he had relied on his father's choices and had signed what the latter told him to sign.
Neymar's father had argued for his part that it was not up to him but to Santos to inform DIS of the existence of negotiations authorized, according to him, by the Brazilian club in a letter.
This trial has been dubbed "Neymar 2", "Neymar 1" designating the tax evasion case deriving from this same transfer which was concluded in 2016 by an agreement between the prosecution and Barça, who agreed to pay a fine. of 5.5 million.
Neymar and Barça also clashed in court, but they ended up signing an “amicable” agreement in July 2021, ending all financial disputes between them.