Neymar had filed a case against Barcelona asking over €40 million from the Catalan club because they did not pay his full renewal bonus from 2016, as he departed in 2017.
Barcelona express satisfation
The verdict has been well-received by Barcelona. The club released a statement expressing satisfaction with the verdict, which was announced today.
The Brazilian forward left the club in 2017 for French giants Paris Saint Germain. He became the world's most expensive player when PSG decided to activate his release clause of €222 million.
His stint in France has not had the impact many thought it would. Persistent injuries have resulted in him missing 62 games for PSG since he joined the club. While he looks world-class when he plays, his game-time has been severely limited.
Neymar's numbers for PSG are phenomenal. In 89 appearances in all competitions for the club, he has scored 69 goals and provided 39 assists. The 28-year old Brazilian, however, is no longer the talisman of the club. Young Kylian Mbappe's emergence and Neymar's subsequent injury-riddled decline has meant that he no longer is the club's biggest superstar.
This verdict is interesting because Neymar has been constantly linked with a move back to Barcelona. During his time there, the Brazilian formed a dangerous attacking trident with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. There have been multiple rumours that Barcelona would be interested in bringing him back for a second spell. Most recently, a swap deal for Antoine Griezmann was mentioned.
Neymar's time at Barcelona was spectacular. The Brazilian played 186 games for the club in all competitions, scoring 105 goals and providing 77 assists. He was often seen as the man to carry Barcelona forward post-Messi. His sudden departure to PSG sent shockwaves through the Barcelona hierarchy.
It would be fair to say that Barcelona have struggled to replace him. Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho, both bought with the Neymar money, have failed to perform. Their recent signing, Antoine Griezmann, has been good but is 29 now.
Despite the Neymar links, Barcelona seem intent on bringing Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez to the club. The Argentine is seen as the long-term replacement for Luis Suarez, who is 34 and declining. They have also been linked with moves for Manchester City right-back Joao Cancelo and Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic.
It seems unlikely that any club would bid for Neymar, especially with the pandemic situation. PSG would not be willing to let him go for a loss, and with two more years left in his contract, it seems that Neymar will have to continue playing in France for now.
Neymar arrived in France with the intention of winning the Champions League with PSG and the World Cup with Brazil. He has done neither so far. The fight to get out of Messi's, and now Mbappe's, shadow continues.
Published 19 Jun 2020, 18:28 IST