Neymar is facing the biggest challenge of his career and it’s not coming from the football pitch.
Just hours after scoring the winning goal in Paris Saint-Germain’s victory over Marseille in the French league, Neymar arrived in court in Spain on Monday to stand trial.
These relate to alleged irregularities involving his transfer to Barcelona in 2013.
Neymar’s parents, former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and representatives from Barcelona and Brazilian team Santos also appeared in court.
What are the charges?
The charges were brought by Brazilian investment group DIS.
DIS was entitled to 40% of Neymar’s transfer but said it received a smaller compensation because part of the transfer fee was concealed.
Apparently, DIS only received its due percentage from the 17 million euros that Barcelona and Santos initially announced as the transfer fee.
However, as per sources, the real cost was about 82 million euros.
Prosecutors said Neymar and his parents hid the real amount of the transfer in order to pay a lower commission to the investment group.
As a result, prosecutors are seeking a fine of 10 million euros and a five year prison sentence for Neymar and his father.
They also seek five years in prison for Rosell for fraud and corruption charges, plus a fine of 10 million euros.
Neymar left the Barcelona court about two hours after arriving, without talking to reporters.
The Brazilian star is expected to testify on Friday.
Neymar’s representatives have argued that the crime of corruption was not punishable in Brazil, which is where they say the transactions originally took place.
Neymar made his move to Spain at 21.
He helped Barcelona win the club’s last Champions League title in 2015.