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Neymar addresses Barcelona transfer in court and reveals he turned down chance to join Real Madrid

NEYMAR revealed he snubbed Real Madrid as he took to the stand at his fraud trial in Barcelona on Tuesday.

Judge Jose Manuel del Amo Sanchez allowed the 30-year-old Paris Saint-Germain star to leave the courtroom on Monday as he hadn’t got to sleep until the early hours following Sunday’s match.

Real were interested in signing Neymar before his Barca transfer

Neymar was also subject to a post-game doping test after scoring the winner against rivals Marseille.

Before Neymar began answering questions on Tuesday, the judge said his presence during the trial was a “right” and not an obligation apart from the day when he had to testify.

He added: “There was no privileged treatment. For those who feel we’re here doing the wave as if we were in the stands, that’s not happening.

“He’s being treated like any other defendant in the same position as him.”

The footballer, who wore a dark blue suit with a matching tie over a white shirt, admitted he snubbed Real before sealing a “dream” move to rivals Barca.

He said: “I had offers from other clubs but my dream was always Barcelona. Real Madrid was one of the options but my heart was always for Barcelona.”

Neymar took the stand after Real Madrid president Florentino Perez was called as a witness and told the court the club offered £39million to sign the winger in 2011.

He insisted: “I don’t know Neymar, I’ve never spoken with him personally. 

“We were interested in signing Neymar about 10 years ago. Players go where they want. Neymar wanted to go to Barcelona and that’s why he went to Barcelona.”

The footballer, who agreed to be questioned in court only by the state prosecutor and his defence lawyer and not by lawyers acting for Brazilian company NIS and was on the stand for less than 15 minutes, spoke mainly in his native Portuguese through a translator.

He was asked whether he had participated in negotiations for a contract he signed in November 2011 while he was still at Brazilian boyhood club Santos where he agreed to play for Barcelona in 2014.

Neymar responded: “I don’t remember.”

The Brazil star then responded to the second question from the state prosecutor about negotiations and contracts: “I didn’t participate. It was always my father who looked after that and was responsible for that.

“I sign what he tells me to.”

Neymar is one of nine defendants including his parents and former Barcelona presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu on trial on corruption-related charges.

State prosecutors are demanding a two-year prison sentence and a £8.6m fine for the footballer if convicted on fraud and corruption charges. 

Private prosecutors acting for Brazilian company DIS, which owned 40 per cent of the player’s sporting rights when he was at boyhood club Santos, are seeking a five-year prison sentence.

The trial, which is beginning with the World Cup barely a month away, revolves around alleged irregularities in Neymar’s 2013 transfer to Barcelona.

The Catalan club said it cost £49.4m but prosecutors believe it was at least £71.8m.

DIS claims Neymar, Barca and the Brazilian club colluded to mask the true cost of the deal.

The trial is due to end on October 31.

The footballer is not expected to attend court for the rest of the week, as PSG play away against Ajaccio on Friday before a Champions League tie against Maccabi Haifa next Tuesday.

In Spain prison sentences of two years or less for first-time offenders are normally suspended.

Neymar’s dad was due to take the stand on Tuesday after the PSG footballer.

Spain’s state prosecution service is also seeking a two-year prison sentence for the 57-year-old if convicted as charged.

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