Now Barcelona's Neymar has to stand trial for fraud

Neymar playing against Barcelona in 2011
GETTYNeymar first played against Barcelona at the 201 Club World Cup
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06 May, 2017

The 25-year-old will be joined by current and former Barcelona presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, as well as former Santos president Odilio Rodrigues who all face additional fraud charges.

His arrival from Santos has been a huge success for the Spanish champions on the pitch but a judicial nightmare off it.

In a high-profile transfer Neymar left Santos in Brazil in 2013, but ever since he moved the deal has been shrouded in mystery over alleged irregularities.

On assuming the presidency, Bartomeu revised the cost of the "total operation" to €86.2 million, accounting for agents' fees and a separate commission of €40m paid to the Neymar and N&N Consultoria Esportiva, a company owned by the player's parents. DIS received €6.8m - 40% of the €17m fee paid to Santos - with the company claiming it was denied its real share because part of the transfer fee was concealed by Barcelona, Santos and the Neymar family.

However, if convicted, it unlikely he will serve any time in prison as, under Spanish law, sentences of two years and under in length can be suspended.

Sentences of two years or less are habitually suspended for first time offenders in Spain.

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The transfer in 2013 has been under the microscope for many years with Neymar, his parents, Barcelona and Santos accused of lying about the true transfer fee paid.

However, DIS also recommended that Neymar be banned from playing football during any judicial sentence.

The club also admitted that it paid nearly 100 million euros for Neymar, not the 57.1 million euros it originally claimed.

The decision to order Neymar to stand trial is another blow to the image of the Spanish giants and the player himself.

Neymar joked with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi in training on Friday at the FC Barcelona Sports Center.


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