Spanish court shelves case against Neymar over Barcelona transfer
A Spanish court has dismissed a case on alleged irregularities in the transfer of Brazilian football star Neymar to Barcelona.
National Court judge Jose de la Mata, sitting in Madrid, shelved the complaint against Neymar, his father, and Barcelona by Brazilian investment group DIS.
DIS was entitled to 40% of Neymar's transfer from Brazilian club Santos in 2013, but it claimed it received less compensation than it should have because part of the transfer fee was concealed.
Neymar and his father, who acts as his agent, and Barcelona's current president and his predecessor all denied any wrongdoing when they appeared in court in February.
In June, Barcelona paid a fine of 5.5 million euros to settle a separate case brought against the club by Spain's tax authorities. In that agreement, the club acknowledged it made "an error in the fiscal planning of the player's transfer".
On signing Neymar in 2013, Barcelona said the price of his transfer was 57.1 million euros. Of the initial transfer fee, Brazilian club Santos received 17.1 million euros while Neymar's father, also called Neymar, made 40 million euros.
The actual cost of Neymar's transfer, including a player bonus and the club's complementary payment of 13.55 million euros to Spain's tax office, means it probably exceeds the record 100 million euros spent by Real Madrid to buy Gareth Bale.
Last week, Barcelona announced Neymar had agreed a contract extension that will keep him at the Spanish champions until 2021.
In his three seasons, the 24-year-old has 85 goals in 141 games, forming a potent strike trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
He has helped the team win two Spanish leagues, two Copa del Reys, the Champions League, the European Super Cup, the Spanish Super Cup, and the Club World Cup.
This week, a separate court in Barcelona found Messi and his father guilty of defrauding the state of 4.1 million euros in unpaid taxes from earnings on image rights.
They were sentenced to 21 months in prison, but neither man is expected to go to jail because in Spain sentences of less than two years for first offences are usually suspended. Messi and his father have appealed against the ruling.