Neymar's father: Barcelona paid €10m in 2011

The Blaugrana forward's parent gave an agitated and muddling media appearance on Tuesday, insisting that his son could have made him even more money by leaving Santos in 2014
Neymar's father has defended the €10 million downpayment that Barcelona gave his company three years ago to get preferential treatment in bidding for the forward.

The Blaugrana beat Real Madrid to the signature of the Brazil international, now 21, whose summer transfer caused chaos at Camp Nou last week, with Sandro Rosell resigning as club president amid a judicial investigation into the legitimacy of the deal.

On Tuesday, Neymar Sr admitted that Barca gave him €10m in 2011. This was a portion of the €40m they paid him overall to ensure the Catalans would receive a first option in any transfer, but he insisted he had not broken the law with the secret agreement. The loan payment would have been repaid if Neymar had not joined Barcelona, he claimed.

"Barcelona paid me €10m [in 2011]," Neymar Sr told ESPN Brasil, after giving a press conference to reporters in Brazil.

"It's not a crime. They didn't pay the money to Neymar, they paid it to my company [N&N, owned by Neymar's parents].

"What did I do with the €10m? I put it towards insurance so that if anything happened to Neymar, if he got injured, for example, I could afford to pay the €40m."

In his statement to reporters, Neymar Sr claimed he could have received as much as €120m for the Selecao star if he had waited until after this summer's World Cup to send his son to Europe.

"He could have left [Santos] for nothing in 2014 and we [N&N] could have got €120m alone because there were clubs willing to pay that much.

"But I wanted to give Neymar peace to play at the World Cup this year, free from transfer speculation. We're making everything clear about his contract now because of that, too."

Neymar's father also claimed that it is a gamble to keep players in Brazil too long, as they may lose their appeal to big-spending European sides, citing Ganso's fortunes as a case in point.

The former Santos star had been tipped to make a big-money move to Europe in 2011, with sides such as AC Milan, Barcelona, Real Madrid and several top Premier League clubs holding an interest in the playmaker until he suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury.

"One example is Ganso," Neymar Sr said. "He's one of the best players in the world. He grew up with my son. But they had different stories.

"Today Ganso is at a big club [Sao Paulo], but he's not in Europe and he missed the chance to be financially fulfilled.

"Can you imagine if the same thing had happened to Neymar? We'd lose €40 million.

"The horse passed Ganso by, as he got injured and missed his chance. Today, he is questioned."