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Neymar's Father Admits Signing Deal with Barça in 2011
01/29/2014 - 14h38
FROM SÃO PAULO
For eighteen months, Neymar played for Santos knowing that his next club would be Barcelona.
This period includes Santos' 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Barcelona at the Club World Cup in 2011, as well as countless declarations that the continuous rumors of a transfer amounted to nothing more than speculation.
However, it has emerged that Neymar was committed to a move to Barcelona from November 15, 2011.
It was on this day that Barcelona transferred €10 million (USD $13.6 million) to the account of N&N Sports, a company controlled by the player's father, Neymar da Silva, with the intention of guaranteeing the player's signature after his exit from Santos.
Barcelona have published details of the transfer, in order to contain the escalating crisis which led to the resignation last week of the club president, Sandro Rosell. Yesterday it was Neymar da Silva's turn to confirm that he received a down payment from Barcelona ahead of his son's move.
"Neymar would only leave Santos for Barcelona. If I say that I did a preliminary deal in 2011, people would say that the deal was already done. But my job was to protect and to maximize the profit. At that time we had already seen a number of opportunities pass us by," he said.
The deal could even still be revoked, but it wouldn't be simple. For this to occur, Neymar da Silva would have not only to return the €10 million down payment he received, but also another €30 million (USD $40.9 million).
N&N Sports received this additional sum upon the successful completion of the deal. These €40 million, paid according to the player's wishes, represent most of the €61.2 million (USD $83.3 million) that the Neymar family received for the transfer.
Santos, on the other hand, received just €17.3 million (USD $23.6 million), and might even have come out of the deal with nothing.
The initial agreement between N&N Sports and Barcelona was that Neymar would be unveiled by the Catalan club after the Brazilian Cup of 2014, when he would have been out of contract with Santos and therefore eligible for a free transfer.
Santos agreed to bring forward to the transfer to May of 2013, concerned about the possible loss of their star player for nothing. Neymar da Silva was also worried that a poor Brazilian performance in the Confederations Cup might endanger any potential deal.
"Let my son leave," said Neymar's father to the directors of Santos at the time, according to the version of events which he made public yesterday.
"He could have left for nothing in 2014, and I would have banked more than €120 million (USD $163 million) alone, as there were offers from other clubs to that value," he said.
Santos' press secretary was not available for comment.
With additional material from DIEGO IWATA LIMA
Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE