ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JANUARY 11: FIFA Ballon d'Or nominee Neymar Jr of Brazil and FC Barcelona attends a press conference prior to the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2015 at the Kongresshaus on January 11, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo : Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
After figuring prominently as one of the finalists for the 2015 Ballon d’Or best male player of the year award, Neymar finds himself in the middle of another battle involving a fraud case tied up with his transfer from Santos to Blaugrana back in 2013.
The 23-year-old forward will be testifying at the Audiencia Nacional, the Spanish national court, on Feb. 2, where Brazilian investment fund DIS alleges that they got the short end when Neymar signed up with Barca.
DIS claims that they were duped out of the 40 percent due from the transfer of Neymar.
"DIS, which held 40 percent of Neymar's sports rights when he was in Brazil, claims it only received that percentage for €17.1 million that Santos was allegedly paid for the Brazilian when, according to high court investigations, the deal cost €83.3 million (£62 million)," per reports from The Guardian.
With that said, the national court wants to see if there were indeed any irregularities made involving the transfer. Aside from Neymar, also summoned were Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, club chief Josep Bartomeu and Neymar's parents, as reported via ESPN FC.
Neymar had already made a previous request to dismiss the probe on the alleged irregularities but the national court rejected his request.
“The judge ... believes that the prosecutor’s requests are ‘relevant, necessary and balanced’ for them to require an examination of the facts,” the court reported said in a statement.
The recent development has cast a dark shadow on the rising Barcelona forward. Since transferring from Santos, Neymar has improved immensely and has become a key figure in the club’s success in 2015.
That included helping Barca to a historic treble that was highlighted by their Champion’s league triumph.
This latest bit also adds to the problems that Rossell and Bartomeu will have to face. Both are already facing trial for tax fraud, which has led to their resignation from the organization. While both have denied any wrongdoing, they stand to face a possible prison sentence of two years aside from fines and payment of outstanding taxes reportedly totaling close to €60M.
Neymar has been in the headlines lately, mostly due to his performance on the field. While he did end up in the top three for the 2015 Ballon d’Or award, the Brazilian captain believes he should have finished at least second or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, there are critics who feel that if Neymar wants to grow, he would be better off considering other clubs. Real Madrid could be a destination if fellow Brazilian Roberto Carlos can back up his claim.
Before all that, however, Neymar needs to set the record straight and clean up this current row involving DIS.