Neymar ordered to pay Barcelona 6.7m euros

After his world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 the Brazilian forward sued Barca for 43.6 million euros that he claimed he was due for various bonuses. (File/AFP)
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Updated 19 June 2020

Neymar ordered to pay Barcelona 6.7m euros

  • After his world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 the Brazilian forward sued Barca for 43.6 million euros that he claimed he was due for various bonuses
  • Neymar has five days to appeal the decision

BARCELONA: Neymar must pay 6.7 million euros ($7.53m) to Barcelona, a court ordered Friday after the player’s case against his former employer was dismissed.
After his world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 the Brazilian forward sued Barca for 43.6 million euros that he claimed he was due for various bonuses.
But a judge dismissed Neymar’s case and instead sided with Barcelona, who had also sued their former player for breach of contract.
Neymar has five days to appeal the decision.
He joined Barca in 2013 and signed a new five-year contract in 2016, which included a renewal bonus worth 43.6 million euros, with 14 million paid up front.
The remaining 29 million euros was due to be paid on August 1, 2017 but Neymar left Barcelona on August 3 for Paris Saint-Germain, who activated the striker’s 222 million euro release clause.
Barcelona refused to pay Neymar the remainder of the bonus, insisting the terms of his contract had been broken.
The club in turn sued Neymar and requested the return of the 14 million euros they had paid him up front, as well as a further 8.5 million euros in damages.
“We express our satisfaction with the verdict announced today,” Barcelona said in a statement.
“The ruling has fully dismissed the player’s claim for payment of EUR43.6m, and has accepted a large part of the defense presented by FC Barcelona, as a result of which the player must return EUR6.7m to the club.
“Since the player’s representative is entitled to appeal this decision, the club shall continue to fervently defend its legitimate interests.”
Despite the financial dispute between Barcelona and Neymar, both the club and the player have been eager to be reunited.
There were even discussions last year about coming to an agreement out of court but a compromise could not be reached.
Barca spent most of last year’s summer transfer window negotiating a transfer with PSG but were unable to strike a deal, even as a number of different players were offered in exchange.
Neymar remains a popular figure among the leaders of the Barca squad, including Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, with whom he formed a devastating attacking trio during his time at Camp Nou.
“I’ve said it many times, as a footballer Ney is one of the best in the world and I would love for him to return,” Messi said in an interview with Barcelona newspaper Mundo Deportivo in February.
“He was always happy, he had fun both on and off the pitch. He brought a special sense of joy to the dressing room.”
Messi added: “He is eager to return, he was always regretful. He tried a lot to come back and that would be the first step in trying to get him here.”
Another attempt to re-sign Neymar was expected this summer but the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic make an agreement even more unlikely.
“Neymar-type transfers will not happen,” said La Liga president Javier Tebas earlier this month.
Neymar was brought to PSG to help them finally win the Champions League but they failed to go past the last 16 in his first two years at the club.
This season, they are one of four teams through to the quarter-finals, which will be played in Lisbon in August, according to an announcement made by UEFA on Wednesday.s


Injured Serena withdraws from French Open; Nadal cruises

Updated 01 October 2020

Injured Serena withdraws from French Open; Nadal cruises

  • The 39-year-old Williams, a three-time winner at Roland Garros, pulled out ahead of her second round match

PARIS: Serena Williams suffered another blow in her bid for a 24th Grand Slam title as the American withdrew from the French Open on Wednesday with an Achilles injury, while 12-time champion Rafael Nadal raced into the third round.

The 39-year-old Williams, a three-time winner at Roland Garros, pulled out ahead of her second round match against Tsvetana Pironkova citing the injury that prompted her to skip the Rome tuneup event.

“The Achilles didn't have enough time to heal after the US Open,” said Williams, who admitted last week she was not fully fit after her run to the semifinals in New York.

“I'm struggling to walk, so that's kind of a telltale sign that I should try to recover.”

The injury likely means she will miss the rest of 2020, leaving the Australian Open in 2021 as her next chance to equal Margaret Court's all-time majors record.

Nadal looked in ominous form as he stepped up his pursuit of Roger Federer's 20 major titles with a crushing win over 236th-ranked American Mackenzie McDonald.

The Spaniard batted aside McDonald 6-1, 6-0, 6-3 in exactly 100 minutes and will meet Japan's Kei Nishikori or Stefano Travaglia of Italy for a spot in the last 16.

“The aim was to play as well as possible. I'm very happy. I have another difficult match next,” said Nadal. The 34-year-old needs one more major to pull level with long-time rival Federer and owns an astonishing 95-2 record in Paris going back to his triumph on debut in 2005.

US Open champion Dominic Thiem swept into the third round with a 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) victory over American qualifier Jack Sock, saving three set points to close out the match.

The Austrian third seed will play Norway's Casper Ruud, seeded 28th, or American Tommy Paul for a place in the last 16.

“I'm very happy with my game in the first two rounds. It was not an easy draw at all and I'm very happy not to drop a set,” said Thiem, who defeated 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic in round one.

Dutch fifth seed Kiki Bertens had to be taken off court in a wheelchair after a fiery win over former finalist Sara Errani.

Bertens triumphed 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 9-7 in a three-hour 11-minute clash which left her in cramps and Italian Errani screaming an obscenity as she left the court.

"After one hour, she's injured but then she's running around like never before," said Errani.

"She leaves the court in a chair and now she's in the locker room and eating in the restaurant, perfect. She exaggerated."

Bertens is due to meet Katerina Siniakova next while Elina Svitolina overcame Mexican qualifier Renata Zarazua 6-3, 0-6, 6-2.

The Ukrainian third seed is coming off a title at Strasbourg last week and will next play Russian 27th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova, but was briefly taken aback by a sonic boom.

Stan Wawrinka, the 2015 French Open winner, followed up his demolition of Andy Murray with a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 defeat of Germany's Dominik Koepfer.

Sebastian Korda, the son of 1992 Roland Garros runner-up and 1998 Australian Open champion Petr Korda, also progressed after a four-sets victory over fellow American John Isner.