A Spanish judge has said that Neymar could face up to six years in prison when he stands trial on fraud and corruption charges over his 2013 transfer to Barcelona.
Charges were filed by Brazilian investment firm DIS, who claim they received a smaller percentage then they were entitled to over the player’s sale, claiming that some of the reported $313 million transfer fee.
Initial reports claimed Barcelona were to spend $64 million for Neymar, however, after a lengthy legal battle, the club admitted the fee was actually much higher. Additional taxes and fines meant the actual fee was more than four times what was originally claimed.
Prosecutors were seeking a two-year sentence for Neymar, which would likely have been suspended in Spain (meaning he wouldn’t actually serve time in a prison), however, on Wednesday, the court said that if found guilty, his sentence would likely be between four and six years.
Barcelona FC, president Josep Maria Bartomeu, former president Sandro Rosell (who stepped down in 2014 as a result of the scandal), Santos FC and Neymar’s parents all face related charges.
All parties deny any wrongdoing and a trial date is yet to be set.
Neymar left Barcelona in the summer of 2017 for Paris Saint-Germain for a staggering $263 million. He signed a five-year contract and will reportedly make $53 million a year, making him the highest-paid footballer in the world.