Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Neymar says he signed what his father told him to


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Brazil forward Neymar has told a court that he “did not participate in negotiations” over his transfer to Barcelona from Santos in 2013, but signed what his father told him to.

Neymar and eight other defendants are on trial accused of fraud and corruption, which they deny.

Investment firm DIS owned 40% of the rights to the player and says it lost out as the transfer was undervalued.

“My father always took care of it and always will,” the 30-year-old said.

“I didn’t participate in the negotiations. I sign everything he [his father] tells me to sign,” the Paris St-Germain player told the court in Barcelona.

“Playing for Barcelona was always my dream, a childhood dream.”

The other defendants are Neymar’s parents, the two clubs, former Barcelona presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell and former Santos president Odilio Rodrigues.

The player’s father, Neymar da Silva Santos, told the court: “Our intention was to prepare a career plan for him in Europe, which we had in place already established. And knowing his dream to play for Barcelona, we signed that priority agreement with them.”

DIS wants a five-year prison term for Neymar while Spanish prosecutors are seeking a two-year prison sentence and a 10m euro fine for the player. They also want a five-year jail term for Rosell and an 8.4m euro fine for Barcelona.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, called as a witness, told the court his club had offered 45m euros in 2011 and 36m in 2013 to Santos to sign Neymar but the player chose to join Barcelona instead.

Earlier, defence lawyer Maria Masso said the player has not committed any crime, adding that the Spanish courts have no jurisdiction to prosecute the Neymar family as the alleged offences took place in Brazil, where they are not punishable. (BBC)


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