FIFA World Cup

Neymar Goes On Trial In Barcelona Ahead Of FIFA World Cup

A month before the World Cup begins in Qatar, Brazilian superstar Neymar goes on trial in Spain over alleged irregularities in his transfer to Barcelona nearly a decade ago. The trial opens in Barcelona on Monday following a years-long legal saga over his 2013 transfer from the Brazilian club Santos, with the 30-year-old star in the dock as well as his parents, whose company manages his affairs.

All three are facing charges of business corruption. Investigators began probing the transaction after a 2015 complaint filed by DIS, a Brazilian company that owned 40 percent of the player’s sporting rights when he was at Santos.

Barcelona said the transfer cost 57.1 million euros, but prosecutors believe it cost at least 83 million euros. The club said it paid 40 million euros to N&N, a company owned by the Neymar family, and 17.1 million to Santos, of which 6.8 million was given to DIS. But DIS alleges that Neymar, Barcelona, and the Brazilian club colluded to mask the true cost of the deal.

A total of nine defendants are on trial on corruption-related charges, among them two former Barca presidents, Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, and ex-Santos boss Odilio Rodrigues Filho.

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