Prosecutors in Spain are requesting a two-year prison sentence, but the footballer’s lack of previous convictions will spare him time behind bars in Barcelona.
Contrary to the internet’s wild reaction, Barcelona forward Neymar will NOT be going to jail any time soon on corruption charges.
Yes, prosecutors in Spain are requesting two years jail for the Brazilian footballer but, in reality, he wouldn’t actually spend any time behind bars.
The reason Neymar won’t go to jail is that is he has no previous convictions and the prosecution, led by Jose Perals, are seeking just two years – which under Spanish law means the time can be served under probation.
It’s a similar situation to Lionel Messi’s conviction in July 2016 for tax fraud offences. On that occasion, the Barca star was memorably sentenced to 21 months in prison for defrauding Spain of £3.5 million . No jail time was served.
In December 2015 Mascherano also accepted a year’s jail time conviction for tax fraud but, again, the Barcelona player just had to pay a large fine of an estimated £1.3m.
In addition to the misleading prison request, the prosecution are seeking £8.5m in damages from Neymar if found guilty. They’re seeking similar sentences for both of his parents for business corruption, the same charge he’s being accused of.
While Neymar isn’t expected to be locked up any time soon, former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell might not be so lucky. He’s accused of defrauding DIS – who owned 40 per cent of the player’s rights – for the player’s transfer to Camp Nou, and the prosecution want him jailed for five years.
Probably not. DIS wanted a five-year prison sentence for Neymar, which would have also seen him disqualified from playing professional football for the Brazil captain during that period.
It would have ruined Neymar’s career, beyond any doubt. He would not have been able to evade jail if found guilty and the best years of his career would’ve been lost.
The sentence isn’t official and depends on what the judge decides in court, but it looks like Neymar’s football career remains in tact as the prosecution chose two years and a huge fine.
However, what could happen is Neymar becomes sick of Spain and sick of being accused of being a criminal at Barcelona. The likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Manchester City – two of the few clubs who could afford Neymar’s large transfer fee and hefty wages – will no doubt be watching the case closely.