PSG star Neymar’s unpaid bonuses row with former club Barcelona has spectacularly backfired on the Brazilian striker after a Spanish court ruled against his claim and ordered him to pay Barca $7.4 million.
Neymar, who left Barcelona in 2017 to join French giants Paris Saint-Germain in a world record transfer after they activated his release clause, claimed that he was owed an unpaid loyalty bonus after he extended his contract with the Spanish side in 2016.
The player had claimed that he was due more than $48 million per the terms of his contract. However, Barcelona countersued Neymar, alleging breach of contract.
The court ruling, which came on Friday, came in favor of the La Liga club, dismissing Neymar’s claim and ordering the Brazilian striker to pay his former club a fee of $7.4 million.
“FC Barcelona expresses its satisfaction with the verdict announced today by Social Court 15 in Barcelona in relation to the lawsuit involving FC Barcelona and the player Neymar Jr regarding the amount of the signing bonus in the final renewal of the player’s contract,” a statement from the Spanish champions reads.
“The ruling has fully dismissed the player’s claim for payment of 43.6 million Euros, and has accepted a large part of the defense presented by FC Barcelona, as a result of which the player must return 6.7 million Euros to the club.
“Since the player’s representative is entitled to appeal this decision, the club shall continue to fervently defend its legitimate interests.”
The legal wrangle is the latest incident in an ongoing saga between the two parties. Neymar scored 105 goals in 185 appearances for the team and was part of an impressive trifecta attack, alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
However, Neymar opted to leave the team three years ago – reportedly in part due to his desire to win the Ballon d’Or, something he determined would be impossible while a teammate of Messi’s.
It was heavily rumored that Barcelona attempted to re-sign Neymar last summer, with the player even reportedly refusing to take part in training sessions in a bid to force the move, leading to protests from legions of PSG supporters.
PSG’s sporting director, Brazilian World Cup winner Leonardo, said that any potential deal fell apart when Barcelona refused to meet the asking price the French club had set for the Brazil international.
Barcelona’s relationship with Neymar also led to a courtroom battle several years ago when the club were charged with tax fraud after paying Neymar’s parents $42 million to help secure his transfer to Camp Nou from Brazilian side Santos in 2013.