Barcelona speaks: Spanish club confirms they paid Neymar’s parents $56 million

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Thanks to authorization from Neymar’s father lifting a confidentiality clause, Barcelona took the liberty of releasing some shocking figures on the Brazilian’s transfer fee, a major point of contention recently.

The La Liga giants confirmed today they paid a total of €56.7 million ($77.5 million), of which €40.9 million ($56 million) went directly to the player’s parents.

Santos, Neymar’s former club, received just $23.2 million (29.9%) of the total transfer fee.

This scandal comes to an apex on the heels of former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell’s resignation under accusations that he misappropriated funds and paid more than the reported €56.7 million.

New President Josep Maria Bartomeu (pictured with a paper copy of Neymar’s contract breakdown) said at a press conference to unveil the figures, “we have not lied. Football games are won on the pitch, not behind closed doors in offices.”

The new club President also claimed that many “top teams” had submitted higher offers than that of the Catalan club, some claimed to be over €100 million, but Neymar chose to come to Barcelona.

In the press conference, the club confirmed Neymar’s salary figure, coming to €57.6 million ($78.8 million).  This number is split up into a €10 million signing bonus, €44 million over the five years of his contract, and €2.5 million in agent fees.

Bartomeu also referenced the controversial 1953 transfer of Alfredo Di Stefano to Barcelona, saying “We lost Di Stefano in an office, but we have not lost Neymar.” The reference alludes to Di Stefano’s switch from Colombian club Millonerios to Catalonia, which Spanish Football Federation decided to strike down, allowing him to move instead to Real Madrid.

In the release, Barcelona conveniently shoved this statement at the bottom:

“FC Barcelona have also struck a number of agreements with organizations connected to the player, such as the Fundació Neymar Jr., a commercial agent to link Neymar’s image with the Club’s in Brazil, an agreement with Santos concerning academy players and with N&N [Neymar da Silva and Nadine, the player’s parents], who will scout young talent at the Brazilian club.”

Many have believed that Barcelona used precisely these “agreements” to provide discrete ways of paying Neymar, Santos, and his family more than the reported official transfer amount.

UCL, LIVE: Tottenham vs. Real Madrid; Man City, Liverpool in action

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Three Premier League teams are in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday and they are involved in some huge matches across Europe.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Tottenham Hotspur head to reigning European champions Real Madrid in Group H with both teams winning their opening two group games. Can Harry Kane and Co. stun the Santiago Bernabeu?

Manchester City host Napoli in Group F in what looks like a very tasty game in Group F and Liverpool head to Maribr in a must-win game in Group E after they drew their opening two matches.

Elsewhere, FC Porto’s trip to RB Leipzig looks set to be an intriguing clash in Group G.

Below is the full schedule for Tuesday’s games, which all kick off at 2:45 p.m. ET and you can follow all the action live by clicking on the link above.

[ MORE: Champions League standings


Tuesday’s UCL games

Group E
Spartak Moscow vs. Sevilla
Maribor vs. Liverpool

Group F
Man City vs. Napoli
Feyenoord vs. Shakthar Donetsk

Group G
RB Leipzig vs. FC Porto
Monaco vs. Besiktas

Group H
APOEL vs. Borussia Dortmund
Real Madrid vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Top 25 moments in Premier League history: 6-4

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To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Premier League we thought it would be great to count down our top 25 moments from a quarter of a century of action.

[ VIDEO: Top 25 moments in PL history ]

Each week we will release our best moments and you can keep track of the full list here.

Below are numbers 6-4 as we enter the top five moments in PL history.


6 – Wayne Rooney‘s score a stunning first PL goal for Everton vs. Arsenal in 2002

5 – Man United fight back from 3-0 down v Tottenham in 2001

4 – Liverpool vs. Newcastle United battles in the mid 1990s

Heath, Smith sidelined with injuries for USWNT

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CHICAGO (AP) Forward Tobin Heath and defender Taylor Smith are sidelined with injuries that will keep them out of the U.S. women’s national team training camp in Louisiana ahead of two upcoming matches against South Korea.

Heath is nursing an ankle injury and Smith her shoulder. Both women were hurt in the NWSL championship match last Saturday, the U.S. Soccer Federation said Monday.

The Americans play Thursday at New Orleans and Sunday in Cary, North Carolina.

Neither player will be replaced on the roster and coach Jill Ellis will have 18 players dressed for each game.

Report: Sam Allardyce, Laurent Blanc want to be next USMNT boss

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Yep, this is true.

Sam Allardyce has thrown his hat into the ring with the U.S. national team searching for a new manager, and so has former Paris Saint-Germain and France boss Laurent Blanc.

[ MORE: Latest USMNT news ]

According to ESPN, sources close to Allardyce say he is up for the USMNT challenge which would “enable him to impose a long-term strategy and secure a legacy in a nation regarded as a growing force.”

A report from France Football states that Blanc is also interested in replacing Bruce Arena, who resigned last week following the USA’s shock defeat at Trinidad and Tobago which saw them miss the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Hmmm. After Jurgen Klinsmann’s time in charge of the USMNT, are the days of big name foreign managers over?

These are two relatively high-profile names with experience of managing national teams (in Allardyce’s case one game with England before The Telegraph sting scandal) but neither have experience of Major League Soccer or the unique challenges of CONCACAF.

Allardyce often talks fondly about his year spent with the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the NASL during his playing days and has used many techniques he picked up from the U.S. sporting realm in his lengthy coaching career which has spanned Premier League clubs Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham United, Sunderland and Crystal Palace.

Yet the scandal which cut his ill-fated time in charge of England short will likely raise eyebrows if he is to be considered for the U.S. job and his direct style of play is not to the taste of many purists out there.

When it comes to Blanc, his ultra-defensive style of play may turn off those in charge of U.S. Soccer too but there’s no doubting his record with a title win at Bordeaux in 2009 before he took France to the last eight of EURO 2012, and then led PSG to three-straight French titles from 2012-13, is impressive.

The fact that these two managers have reportedly thrown their hats into the ring suggests just how highly the job is regarded worldwide, even if U.S. Soccer fans believe the program is currently at an all-time low after the embarrassment of failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

In his conference call with reporters last week U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) president Sunil Gulati refused to rule out anybody for the USMNT job, stating that no specific profile (American, non-American coaches etc.) is preferred in their search for a new manager.

Many U.S. fans are hoping for a domestic manager to take charge with Peter Vermes, Ben Olsen and Jesse Marsch all mentioned with their vast knowledge of the U.S. national team and MLS setup.

Let’s wait and see what happens but after the Klinsmann era, one would suggest that USSF would be slightly hesitant to go overseas in their search for a new U.S. national team manager.