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Neymar confirms snubbing Real Madrid for Barcelona: “I followed my heart”

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Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

Former Barcelona forward Neymar arrived in court on Tuesday to testify in a fraud and corruption trial over his transfer from Brazilian club Santos FC to Barcelona.

During the hearing, the current Paris Saint-Germain attacker explained that he does not participate in the transfer negotiations as everything is handled by his father. He only acts as per his father’s command.

“That’s [transfer negotations] all handled by my father, I did not participate in the negotiation. I sign what he tells me,” the Brazil international is quoted as saying by the Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo.

Upon being asked about the choices he had while moving to Barcelona, Neymar admitted that their La Liga rivals Real Madrid were the closest competitor but his dream was always to play for the Blaugrana.

“I knew about the rumours from other clubs but my dream was to sign for Barça and in 2013 I decided to go to Barça and leave Santos.

“I had options from many clubs but my dream was always to play for Barça since I was a child I wanted to play there and I always follow my heart.

“I remember that I had Madrid to go to and I don’t remember others. At the last moment, it was Madrid or Barça but my heart made me go to Barça,” he added.

Neymar, 30, moved to Barcelona from Santos in 2013 and neither the player nor the teams involved released the details of the transfer fee or personal terms. 

As it turns out, the footballer’s father, who also acts as his agent, was accused of concealing the real amount of the move from an investment group that was involved in the transfer. 

The group in question is DIS which was entitled to 40% of Neymar’s transfer, but they say the amount they received was a smaller compensation as the actual fee was concealed by the clubs and the agents.

For now, everyone involved, including the player and former Barcelona presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Bartomeu have denied the wrongdoings. 

The trial started on Monday and the thing to note here is the fact that the prosecutors have accused the player and his father of corruption and fraud and have also asked for a five-year prison sentence apart from the obvious financial compensation.

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