A Spanish corruption case surrounding Neymar’s transfer from Santos to Barcelona in 2013 is certain to influence the Brazil forward’s form, national team coach Tite said on Monday.
Spain’s public prosecutor last week called for Neymar to be sent to prison for two years for his part in the fraud case.
It stems from a complaint by Brazilian investment group, DIS, which owned 40 per cent of Neymar’s transfer rights and alleges it received less money than it was entitled to because Barca concealed the real transfer fee.
‘It’s a lie to say that he (Neymar) is coming to work and leaving all his problems off the field,’ Tite told Reuters in an exclusive interview. ‘Yes, it is going to have an influence and he is going to need a group of people to advise him.
‘There’s no way to disassociate (the two), it is going to depend on the capacity of the people around him to tell him to ‘stay calm’,’ Tite added.
Altamiro Bezerra, CEO of Neymar’s company, told Reuters on Wednesday that they were ‘very relaxed’ because there was ‘nothing new’ in the latest court filing to reopen the case.
Barca said this month that if the trial went ahead the club would defend the innocence of all those being investigated.
Former Corinthians coach Tite, who once described the pressure on Neymar as ‘inhumane’ has worked hard to reduce Brazil’s reliance on him since taking over as coach in June.
He has rotated the captaincy among several senior players and given more game time to Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus, two other young forwards, to help share the load in attack.
Neymar, 24, himself seemed to recognise the pressure he was under when he handed back the captain’s armband after the Olympic Games, saying he wanted to concentrate on playing.
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