Social Court 15 has ruled to dismiss Neymar’s claims made in a lawsuit against Barcelona, in which the forward was demanding €43.6m in bonuses.
Furthermore, the court has since ruled that the Brazilian must now pay his former employers €6.7m in return – a huge turnaround for La Blaugrana in the long-running court case.
A statement on the club’s official website read: “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.
“The ruling has fully dismissed the player’s claim for payment of 43.6 million euros, and has accepted a large part of the defence 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.”
Neymar’s decision to file a lawsuit against the current La Liga leaders, rather remarkably, was his third such legal case. The first time came back in 2018 when he claimed that Barça were obligated to pay him €28.6m as a bonus for signing an extension with the club, prior to his move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Following that his lawyers were looking for €3.5m in unpaid wages, while the most recent case was regarding certain contingency payments which helped grant his move from boyhood club Santos in 2013.
The transfer eventually led to the resignation of the club’s president, Sandro Rosell, with the initial €57.1m transfer later found to have been almost €30m higher. On top of the fee, Neymar’s parents received a hefty €40m sum for the move.
Social Court 15’s decision will come as a major blow to the 27-year-old, although the forward was recently found to be the fourth highest-paid athlete in world sport, with earnings of $95.5m in the last year. If anything, his relationship with the club he’s desperate to return to will take a bigger his than his bank balance.
For more from Ross Kennerley, follow him on Twitter!