Neymar in heartfelt defence of father
Neymar has defended his father's role in the controversial 86.2 million euro deal which brought the attacker to Barcelona last summer, and appears to have earned his family a total of 51.2 million euros in commission and transfer-related arrangements.
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The move is also being looked at in Brazil, with both Neymar's former club Santos and third-party investment fund DIS Esporte claiming they want a bigger share of the money which changed hands.
Both Neymar Snr and Barca maintain that nothing illegal took place, while the Catalan club took the unusual step to detail the payments which include 40 million euros in “compensation” paid to N&N -- an agency run by Neymar's parents -- 2.7 million euros paid to Neymar Snr as commission, as well as other “commercial agreements” with “organisations connected to the player” worth a total of 8.5 million euros, covering areas such as marketing, scouting and development work in Brazil.
The former Santos player, currently sidelined with an ankle injury, said in an Instagram message posted on Sunday evening that “a lot of nonsense” is being talked about his father's role in the transfer, and he was disobeying a paternal instruction to keep quiet about it.
"I have kept my mouth shut until now," the message read. "But I cannot take it anymore, listening to the amount of nonsense that is being spoken about my transfer. I called my father to tell him that I wanted to express myself about the subject, but he told me to stay quiet and just concern myself with my recovery, that this was his business. But he will understand me. I asked the people who work with me for help to write. I apologise for disobeying you for the first time, papa, but I am going to talk!
“I want to thank you for the way you have managed my career, for the businesses you have created around my work and for the way you have looked after our family. If I have played for the club of our hearts [Santos] and today for the club of our dreams [Barcelona] I owe it to you.
“I know that many people are talking a lot of nonsense about us, even doubting our character... I also realised the amount of false friends we have... Papa, when Thiago Silva said he would die on the pitch for me, I thought the same about him. But for you I would not just die, I would give the life of my only son!
“For this I ask you... return to Spain, I miss you. In some days I will be back playing, and I need you with me. Time will show that you have done nothing wrong. That you have just been fully my father. I love you."
Neymar has not played since spraining an ankle against Getafe in the Copa del Rey on Jan. 16. However, he has recently stepped up his recovery and is expected to be fit in time for Barcelona's Champions League last-16 first leg at Manchester City in two weeks’ time.