Barcelona: Neymar appears in Spanish court for fraud trial

Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar (L) arrives to Spain's national court in Madrid on February 2, 2016. Barcelona star Neymar is called to give evidence this week a murky case over the deal which brought the Brazilian to the Catalan giants from Santos in 2013. / AFP / CURTO DE LA TORRE

Brazil and Barcelona forward Neymar Jr and his father have arrived at a Spanish court where they are due to give evidence in relation to allegations of corruption and fraud surrounding Neymar’s transfer to FC Barcelona three years ago according to reports from Spain.

Barcelona claimed it paid €57m (£43m) for Neymar in 2013 but investigators say the fee was closer to €83m and Barcelona concealed part of the deal – an allegation the current Josep Maria Bartomeu and former president of the club Sandro Rosell denied any wrongdoing at the court in Madrid on Monday.

Barcelona says Neymar’s parents received €40m and his former club, Santos, was paid €17m.

Bartomeu and his predecessor Rosell appeared at the court in Madrid on Monday, insisting they had acted correctly. In a statement on Monday, the club said they had repeated in court what they had said last year.

Both men are also accused in a separate case of defrauding the Spanish tax office of an estimated €13m. They have denied the allegations.

The case was brought by Brazilian third-party investment fund DIS, which owned 40% of the Brazilian player’s sports rights. DIS alleges it was financially harmed by the transfer when it received €6.8m of Santos’s €17m fee and argues it was deprived of its full share.