PSG and Brazil forward Neymar has been cleared of all charges of fraud and corruption relating to his transfer from Santos to Barcelonan in 2013.
Neymar missed Paris Saint-Germain’s 3-0 win at Ajaccio on Ligue 1 last Friday as proceedings against him commenced at a court in Spain.
The 30-year-old joined Barca from Santos for €17.1 million back in 2013, and Brazilian investment firm DIS were paid €6.8m at the time due to owning 40 per cent of the rights to Neymar.
But DIS claimed it lost out on its rightful cut of the transfer fee because its value was understated. They sought a €10m payment and a two-year prison term for Neymar.
But Spanish prosecutor Luis Garcia Canton gave them short shrift. “There is not the slightest hint of crime,” he said at the trial in Barcelona before asking the judge for the “acquittal of all defendants.”
The prosecution had also sought a five-year jail term for former Barca president Sandro Rossell and an €8.4m fine for the club.
Neymar’s legal representatives are expected to claim costs for what they consider recklessness, acting in poor faith and abuse of process, whilst reserving the right to claim for damages.
Neymar has a right to a final say on Monday.
“A court document released in July alleges that Barcelona initiated negotiations on 2011 with Neymar, paying him €40m to ensure his move when his contract with Santos would expire in 2014,” report EPSN.
However, the prosecutor described it as “excessive” to consider that a crime.
“It’s like when you buy an apartment and make a down payment,” Rosell protested before the trial began. “It’s paying to have a priority future right of what you want to acquire.”
Neymar remains the most expensive transfer of all time after his subsequent move from Barca to PSG for €222 million in 2017.