A ruling by National Court judge Jose de la Mata has put Neymar and his parents at risk of facing trial in Spain regarding his transfer from Santos to Barcelona in 2013.
Dave Fraser of the Sun reported Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu and former President Sandro Rosell are set to stand trial with the Brazil icon after a complaint brought by investment group DIS. The judge accepted corruption charges against the player after DIS claimed they were entitled to 40 per cent of the transfer fee, but were given a smaller cut as compensation.
According to Fraser, prosecutors now have 10 days to formally request a trial, with Neymar set to face the court in a bid to clear his name and reputation.
It was widely expected this outcome would come into force after prosecutors won an appeal to keep the case ongoing back in September.
The case was opened in January 2014 – just six months after Neymar‘s move to Spain.
One day after Rosell resigned as the Catalan club president, the full details of his transfer were revealed – with the transfer in fact costing in excess of £70 million.
Barcelona have already been ordered to pay just shy of £5 million in compensation regarding tax irregularities in the transfer.
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Neymar has been a resounding success at the Camp Nou since arriving from South American football, forming the deadly MSN trinity with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
The team have swept away all competition in front of them under manager Luis Enrique, capturing La Liga and the UEFA Champions League.
The Brazil international has continued to display his influence this term, as highlighted by the Champions League’s official Twitter feed:
Neymar for Barcelona this season…
? #UCL pic.twitter.com/uWh9gFSJxf
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) November 7, 2016
Neymar has appeared 154 times for the Catalan giants in all competitions since departing Santos, scoring 91 times, according to Fraser.
Here is the superstar in action:
In other Blaugrana news, former youth product Hector Bellerin has said he has no desire to rejoin his childhood club from Arsenal after a successful spell in the Premier League.
The Spain international explained his thoughts to Standard Sport (h/t the Telegraph):
If I wanted to play there [Barcelona] I would have stayed there.
I was very happy when Arsenal showed interest in me and I decided to come here. I’m not looking back, I’m just looking to help Arsenal.
It’s nice for a player to know that big teams want you, but I’m very happy here.
BEN STANSALL/Getty Images
The defender has established himself as first choice under Arsene Wenger’s command at the Emirates Stadium, and has developed into one of the most exciting full-backs in world football.
The 21-year-old has already appeared 14 times for the Gunners this term in the Premier League and Europe, according to WhoScored.com.
Bellerin would be the perfect fit for Barca with his blistering pace and ability to create service, providing assists.
He has the potential to be a long-term starter for the Blaugrana, and Enrique will continue to watch him blossom in English football.
Barcelona fans will now hold their breath regarding Neymar‘s future, with the potential stress of a trial sure to impact the player’s psychology.
The Brazilian is one of the most important personalities at the club along with his attacking partners, and his contributions must not be compromised in order for Barca to push forward with their ambitions of winning silverware this season.