Neymar loses lawsuit over signing bonus with Barcelona

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              PSG's Neymar is seen during the French League One soccer match between Paris-Saint-Germain and Montpellier at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Saturday Feb. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — A Spanish court has ruled in favor of Barcelona in a dispute with former player Neymar over a signing bonus paid in part to the Brazil striker before he left for Paris Saint-Germain.

The court on Friday rejected Neymar’s suit that Barcelona owed him 43 million euros ($48 million) from part of a signing bonus that it never paid the player.

The court ruled instead that Neymar must pay Barcelona 6.7 million euros ($7.5 million), corresponding to part of the signing bonus it had already paid to the player.

Barcelona and then player Neymar agreed to a new contact in 2016, which included a signing bonus of 64 million euros. The club paid the player 22.5 million euros in July 2016 and was supposed to pay him the remaining 43 million euros by July 2017.

The club, however, withheld the second payment because that summer was rife with media reports indicating that Neymar was negotiating a move to PSG against the wishes of Barcelona. The French club ended up signing Neymar on Aug. 3, 2017 after paying a world-record 222 million euros (then $262 million) to trigger the buyout clause in his contract.

Barcelona had sued Neymar for the return of the full 22.5 million it had paid the player.

The legal dispute comes amid ongoing media speculation that Neymar and Barcelona would like to rejoin forces at some point.

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