5 most shocking decisions taken by Barcelona in the last decade
Barcelona is unarguably one of the most popular football brands in the world, possessing numerous world class players that makes the Blue, Maroon and Garnet of the club instantly recognizable anywhere in the world.
The club has also won admirers for the proficient way in which the club's affairs have been run over the years at board level, and the La Masia model of bringing players through the ranks has been copied by numerous other clubs in a bid to imitate the Barcelona template.
However, for all of the club's goodwill, they are not without their flaws, as like with any other football club (or business entity for that matter), Barca have also been involved in their own fair share of shocking decisions at a boardroom level. In this piece, we shall be taking a look at five of the most outrageous decisions taken by Barcelona over the last ten years.
#5 Neymar's signing
Following his spectacular performances as a teenager with boyhood club Santos in Brazil, Neymar emerged as one of the most in demand prospects in world football, with numerous of Europe's leading sides interested in getting his signature.
Eternal rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona went head-to-head for the Brazilian's signature, with Neymar finally choosing to move to Catalunya in 2013 despite Madrid having reportedly offered him a pre-contract in 2010.
The deal to bring Neymar to Nou Camp was said to be worth €57m, which was the second highest amount paid for a player in the club's history at the time.
Neymar went on to enjoy a productive four year stay at Barcelona, forming one third of the devastating trident known as MSN, which terrorized defenses across Europe and helped Barcelona to win a plethora of titles.
However, while the decision to sign Neymar was undoubtedly a masterstroke on the field of play, the shenanigans which went on behind the scenes to get the deal over the line are still up for much debate to now.
The real cost of the deal is estimated to have been above €100m, with Barcelona reportedly paying Neymar Santos Jr (who is his father and also doubles as his agent) the sum of €10m to bring his son to the Camp Nou.
Elsewhere, there were also reports of the club using old documents in a bid to hide the true value of the transfer.
To cut a long story short, Neymar's transfer was so shady that it is still being investigated today, while it also led to the resignation of former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell (the man in charge when the Neymar deal was sanctioned), and the club also paid a fine of €5.5m to the Spanish courts in 2016 over infringements found in the Neymar case.
While Neymar was an uindoubted success on the pitch of play for Barcelona, the mysteries surrounding his arrival might take years to fully unravel and it without doubt one of the most scandalous transfers of all time.