Neymar to stand trial in Spain over controversial 2013 transfer to Barcelona

Spain's national court has opened trial proceedings against Neymar, the Barcelona forward, on charges of alleged fraud and corruption following his 2013 transfer from Santos.

They will stand trial for "business corruption and fraud", the court said in a statement.

"It has eliminated the question of fraud in the contracts, and we are also certain that we will be absolved of corruption".

The case began because of a complaint from DIS, which owned a 40% stake in Neymar, back when he represented Santos. It argues that it lost out on its rightful cut from the transfer because the true value of the deal was understated.

Last year, prosecutors recommended that Neymar receive a two-year jail sentence and a fine of €10million (£8.54m) if found guilty.

Sentences of two years or less are habitually suspended for first time offenders in Spain.

Barcelona originally published the transfer figure as 57.1 million euros ($62.3 million), with 40 million euros of that given to the player's family and the rest to Santos. DIS received €6.8 million of the supposed €17 million received by Santos. No one was available to comment atSantos, while a spokesperson for DIS said they were pleased with the ruling.

Barca stated initially that they had paid $62.5 million for the 25-year-old captain of Brazil, with a huge $43.7 million of that sum going directly to a company founded by Neymar's parents.

But Spanish authorities believe the real transfer fee was at least €83m euros (£70.3m).

DIS has called for five-year sentences for Neymar and his parents, who acted as the player's representatives, eight years for Rosell and Bartomeu plus a €195m fine for Barça.