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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Barcelona and Brazil star Neymar cleared of tax evasion charges - father

Steve Nicol and Stewart Robson debate whether Coutinho is the only option to replace Neymar if he leaves Barcelona.
ESPN's Toni Collins reports from Barcelona training as Jordi Alba is the latest to comment on the Brazilian star's future.

Brazil and Barcelona forward Neymar has been cleared of criminal charges in a tax evasion case in his home country, his father announced on Wednesday.

A federal court judge in Rio de Janeiro last year found Neymar guilty of tax fraud for failure to report earnings from his contracts with Santos, Barcelona, and Nike, and ordered him to pay 188.8 million Brazilian reals ($52.1m, €45.9m) in fines and back-taxes.

But after appealing the fine -- which included back-taxes and interest -- a judge...

Maracana issues leave Rio de Janeiro out as 2018 World Cup qualifiers host

Maracana wide view Rio
Maracana hosted the 2014 World Cup final between Argentina and Germany.

SAO PAULO -- Brazil's football confederation says the country will complete its World Cup qualifying schedule without playing a single match in Rio de Janeiro, site of the 2014 World Cup final at the famed Maracana stadium.

The CBF said Wednesday that Brazil's final qualifier will be Oct. 10 in Sao Paulo against Chile. The five-time World Cup champions have already qualified for next year's World Cup in Russia.

The Maracana stadium has been infrequently used since last year's Olympics as the state...

Flamengo's Ederson reveals he has testicular cancer, set to miss months

Ederson action Flamengo
Flamengo midfielder Ederson has been diagnosed with testicular cancer and will undergo surgery on Monday.

One-time Brazil midfielder Ederson says he has testicular cancer and won't be able to play for his Flamengo club for months.

The disease was detected last Saturday and he will undergo surgery next Monday, the 31-year-old footballer said in a news conference on Tuesday.

Ederson has played for Nice and Lyon in France, and for Lazio in Italy. He represented Brazil once in 2010 and joined Flamengo in 2015.

Flamengo doctor Marcio Tannure said there was a 99 percent chance of total recovery for Ederson,...

Brazil's 1982 World Cup goalkeeper Waldir Peres dies after heart attack

Waldir Peres with Brazil
Waldir Peres was most famously the starting goalkeeper on Brazil's unforgettable 1982 World Cup squad.

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Former Brazil goalkeeper Waldir Peres, a member of three World Cup teams, died on Sunday at the age of 66 after a heart attack. His death was announced by his family.

Peres was having lunch with friends in the city of Mogi Mirim in Sao Paulo state when he passed out and was taken to hospital.

He was a starter in the 1982 Brazil team that contained greats Zico, Socrates, and Falcao. Brazil were knocked out by eventual winner Italy in the second round.

He was initially criticised...

 By Tim Vickery

Philippe Coutinho's fate once again depends on what Neymar does

ESPN's Herculez Gomez responds to the latest reports of Neymar agreeing to terms with PSG on a contract.
Steve Nicol evaluates Philippe Coutinho's future with Liverpool amid his links with Barcelona.

On Sunday, Gerard Pique put out on social media a photo of himself and Neymar together with the comment "staying" in Spanish. If this really is -- for this window anyway -- the end of Neymar's "Will he or won't he go to PSG?" saga, does that mean that Liverpool can breathe more easily?

Barcelona, of course, have been expressing an interest in Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho. Some have interpreted this as the search by the Catalan giants for a long-term Andres Iniesta replacement. Perhaps. Coutinho,...