Barcelona announced Tuesday that it will file a lawsuit against former player Neymar, who left the Spanish soccer giant earlier this month via a record-breaking transfer to French club Paris Saint-Germain. The Spanish franchise alleges that the Brazilian star breached his contract and is seeking the repayment of a bonus Neymar received when he signed a five-year contract extension with Barcelona in October, plus nearly $10 million in damages and 10 percent interest.
PSG responded, saying in a statement that it “was surprised to learn of FC Barcelona’s statement” and that the club and Neymar had both held to the letter of the law in regards to the transfer.
Barcelona already had announced that it would not pay Neymar the remaining $30.6 million in bonus payments that was due to him and his father under the terms of the contract extension. Neymar already had received a reported $16.5 million bonus from the club, money Barcelona wants back.
Last week, a Barcelona spokesman claimed Neymar had breached his contract because he had negotiated with another club before July 31 after publicly announcing his decision to fulfill his Barcelona contract. Neymar did not announce his intention to leave Barcelona for PSG until Aug. 3.
Neymar made his PSG debut Aug. 13 after the French club paid his $260 million transfer fee, by far a soccer record. The 25-year-old forward had played for Barcelona since 2013, becoming one of the world’s top players. After a game Sunday, he criticized the executives at his former team.
“I spent four beautiful years there and parted happy,” Neymar said. “But with [the board], no.
“For me, they are not the people who should be there, for the direction of Barca. Barca deserve much better.”