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Spanish prosecutors drop corruption, fraud charges against Neymar

Prosecutors in Spain have dropped corruption and fraud charges against Brazil international Neymar and others accused in a trial over his 2013 move from Santos to Barcelona.

The prosecutor announced today the “withdrawal of the charges against all the accused and for all the allegations” they had faced.

Neymar, who now plays for Paris Saint-Germain, had claimed that he did not remember if he took part in the negotiations which led to an agreement in 2011 with Barcelona over his transfer two years later to the Spanish giants from Brazilian club Santos.

Spanish prosecutors had sought a two-year prison sentence for the 30-year-old Neymar and the payment of a €10 million fine.

The dropping of the charges ends years of prosecution over Neymar’s big-money transfer to Europe.

Neymar had been one of nine defendants on trial on charges related to corruption, among them his parents and their N&N company, which manages his affairs.

AFP reported that investigators began probing the transfer to Barcelona after a 2015 complaint filed by DIS, a Brazilian company that owned 40 percent of the player’s sporting rights when he was at Santos, the club where he bacame a global star.

The firm claims that Neymar, Barcelona and Santos colluded to hide the real cost of his transfer, thereby defrauding it of its legitimate financial interests.

Barcelona said the transfer was valued at €57.1 million, with €40 million paid to N&N and €17.1 million to Santos, of which €6.8 million was given to DIS.

Spanish prosecutors insisted the actual value was at least €83 million.

Neymar, who joined PSG from Barcelona in 2017 for a world record fee of €220 million, will lead Brazil’s attack at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, which is scheduled for November 20 to December 18.

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