Brazil forward Neymar arrived at a Barcelona court on Monday to face a trial on fraud and corruption charges over his transfer to Barcelona from Santos in 2013, a Reuters witness said.

The complainant, Brazilian investment firm DIS, said on Thursday it was demanding a five-year jail term for the player.

And after arriving early to court on Monday morning Neymar was allowed to leave before lunchtime to help him recover from playing over the weekend, with his lawyer claiming he was tired after playing and giving a post-match drug test.

Brazilian investment firm DIS has called for the Paris Saint-Germain forward to be sentenced to five years in prison and fined £130million.

But Spanish prosecutors are reportedly seeking a two-year prison term and a £8.6m fine for Neymar.

They are also seeking a five-year jail term for former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and a £7.2m fine for the club.

DIS owned 40 per cent of the rights to Neymar at the time of his transfer from Santos to Barcelona in 2013.

The company claim they lost out on a fair share of the fee because Neymar star was sold for below his value.

Barcelona paid £50m at the time to sign the Brazil international from Santos, with £35m of that paid to his family.

DIS invested £1.7m in buying a chunk of Neymar’s rights when he was 17, and received a 40 per cent share of the £15m leftover from the transfer.

And they argue they should have received more money.

“Neymar’s rights have not been sold to the highest bidder. There were clubs that offered up to 60m euros.”

A DIS lawyer said yesterday.

His lawyers argued that “the rules of free competition do not operate since the transfer from one club to another depends on the free will of the player.”

Neymar, 30, arrived at the Provincial Court of Barcelona and is one of nine defendants set to stand trial on corruption charges, along with his parents and their N&N company, which manages his affairs.

Neymar previously denied the fraud and corruption allegations but lost a Spanish High Court appeal in 2017, so the trial has now been called by Spanish prosecutors.

The forward has to attend the first day of the trial and he is set to give evidence on Friday, but it is not clear if he’ll be in court for the entire duration of the two-week period.

Source: Reuters/The Sun

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