Brazilian star Neymar faces litigation on all fronts
Madrid (AFP) –
Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, the world's most expensive player, is embroiled in a string of legal woes with cases in Spain, France and Brazil.
Paris Saint-Germain transfer
A contract extension bonus Barcelona agreed to give Neymar is at the heart of the legal dispute, which was withheld by the Spanish club following his record-breaking 222-million-euro ($244 million) transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in August 2017.
The case will be heard by a court in the Barcelona suburbs on Friday morning.
The bonus was agreed in the summer of 2016. But when the striker left for PSG barely a year later, Barcelona refused to pay him the outstanding 26 million euros, and demanded he return the sum already received.
The Catalan club also lodged a complaint against the player for breach of contract, demanding 8.5 million euros in damages plus interest.
The Brazilian responded by filing a suit against his former club to demand the payment of the outstanding bonus.
Rape accusation dismissed
Brazilian model Najila Trindade, 26, filed a criminal complaint against Neymar in June at a police station in Sao Paulo, accusing him of raping her at a Paris hotel on May 15.
But Brazilian prosecutors dropped the case in August, citing a lack of evidence. The former Brazil captain has said the encounter was consensual.
Hitting a fan
After PSG's shock defeat by Rennes in the Coupe de France final in April, Neymar was filmed punching a fan in the face after he told the player from the stands: "Learn how to play football."
The 29-year-old man filed a criminal complaint against Neymar for assault.
"Did I behave badly? Yes. But nobody could remain indifferent," the player said afterwards. He was banned for three matches.
Transfer to Barcelona
Brazilian investment group DIS, which owned 40 percent of Neymar's rights when he transferred to Barcelona from Brazil's Santos in 2013, filed a lawsuit for fraud and corruption against Neymar, his father-cum-agent, the two clubs and their current or former executives.
Barcelona said they had spent 57.1 million euros on the transfer, with 40 million euros going to Neymar's family and the rest to Santos. But prosecutors suspect the transfer actually cost 83.3 million euros.
DIS, which received 6.8 million of the 17.1 million euros paid to Santos, has accused Neymar and Barcelona of hiding the real amount in order to pay them a lower sum.
In 2017, a Spanish judge said Neymar should stand trial for alleged corruption and fraud, but the proceedings have been frozen pending a decision on which court should hear the case.
Brazilian tax woes
Neymar is being investigated by the Brazilian tax authorities who say he did not pay income tax on the sale of image rights while he was at Santos nor on the millions Barcelona paid him before the transfer to ensure he would not sign with another club.
In 2017, Neymar agreed to pay a 2.1-million-euro fine to settle the dispute but the following year, the Brazilian authorities said he actually owed 16 million euros in back taxes, a figure his lawyers have challenged.
© 2019 AFP