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A never-ending saga: How Barcelona's Neymar deal ended with Rosell's resignation

Goal.com

It was one of the most protracted transfer deals in soccer history and the repercussions have continued to reverberate long after Neymar finally became a Barcelona player.

Now, following the resignation of Sandro Rosell as Barcelona president, the full truth behind the Brazilian's move to Camp Nou may finally be revealed. Rosell's decision to step down following a meeting Thursday comes as just the latest twist in a saga that has been five years in the making.

Since Barcelona was first reported to be trailing the Santos star, all sorts of claims and counterclaims have been aired by interested parties. Below, Goal runs through the transfer from its earliest stages right through to Rosell's fall from grace.

MARCH 25, 2009

First sighting
Barcelona director Txiki Begiristain is spotted watching Neymar and Keirrison during a trip to Brazil, leading to early claims of a serious interest from the Blaugrana.

JULY 13, 2010

Keirrison loaned
Santos chief Paulo Jamelli denies a deal is already done for Neymar to join Barcelona following the one-year loan deal of Keirrison to the Blaugrana.

JULY 1, 2011

No chance
Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro claims that Neymar is "non-negotiable" and insists the striker will not be leaving the club.

JULY 10, 2011

Agent annoyed
Neymar's agent, Wagner Ribeiro, claims that Barcelona approached Neymar without his permission after gaining the right to negotiate a deal by Santos.

SEPT. 14, 2011

Madrid preferred Neymar's father claims that Real Madrid would be the best potential destination for his son amid persistent claims of a tussle between Los Blancos and Barcelona.

SEPT. 14, 2011

Permission sought
Neymar's father says he will not negotiate with Barcelona over a move for his son without the permission of Santos.

SEPT. 15, 2011

Frustration
Barcelona is said to have become frustrated by Santos' decision to continue meeting with Real Madrid regarding a deal for Neymar despite having come to an agreement over an eventual transfer.

SEPT. 25, 2011

No agreement
Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro denies that Neymar has signed a contract with Real Madrid or Barcelona amid speculation talks are already advanced with one or both clubs.

NOV. 9, 2011

New deal
Neymar signs a new contract with Santos that sees him collect a huge pay raise without the length of his terms extending beyond 2015.

NOV. 11, 2011

Baby-sitting
Santos president Ribeiro says that Sandro Rosell has asked him to take care of Neymar until the Spanish giants are ready to make their move.

DEC. 21, 2011

Deal denied
After Barca beat Santos 4-0 in the Club World Cup final, Neymar's father says the Blaugrana represent a "special option" but denies a 10 million euro deal.

DEC. 21, 2011

World Cup wait
Santos releases an official statement quashing rumors it has given Barca first refusal on Neymar, saying the player is staying "at least until the 2014 World Cup."

DEC. 22, 2011

Sold to many
Neymar laughs off talk he's signed a pre-contract deal with Barca, saying, "I have been sold to different people since I was 10."

JAN. 10, 2012

No contact
Neymar denies he met up with Barcelona after shooting a commercial in the Catalan city but says it is possible his father met representatives of the club at the Ballon d'Or Gala in Zurich.

APRIL 12, 2012

Long-term stay?
Neymar talks up the possibility of him staying with Santos for the remainder of his career, saying it would be "a good gift to the club."

OCT. 19, 2012

DIS not in charge
With speculation mounting regarding his economic rights, Neymar is forced to deny that DIS does not have the final call on any future transfer.

NOV. 5, 2012

Staying at Santos
After excitement builds over the chance Neymar could join Lionel Messi at Barca, the Brazilian says they will only play together if the Argentine joins him at Santos.

APRIL 27, 2013

Nearing departure
It finally appears that a transfer to Barcelona is nearing with Santos vice president Odilio Rodriguez saying that Neymar is ready to move to Europe in the summer.

MAY 25, 2013

Bids accepted
Santos finally concedes defeat, confirming it has received two bids — believed to be from Barcelona and Real Madrid over the sale of Neymar. No fees are disclosed.

MAY 26, 2013

Deal confirmed
Barcelona and the player confirm that Neymar has agreed to put pen to paper on a five-year deal worth around 7 million euros a year to the Brazilian.

MAY 28, 2013

Pricey risk for Madrid
Florentino Perez reveals that Neymar would have cost Real Madrid 150 million euros had it pursued a deal, saying the club could have signed him three years earlier but too many conditions were now involved.

JUNE 3, 2013

"Heart won"
Neymar says his heart preferred Barcelona to Real Madrid, persuading him to join the Blaugrana over their Spanish rivals

JUNE 3, 2013

57 million euro fee revealed
Barca vice president Josep Bartomeu reveals that the Neymar transfer will cost the club 57 million euros and says a buy-out clause has been set at 190 million euros

JULY 10, 2013

9 million euro claim
Leaked minutes from a Santos board meeting suggest the Brazilian outfit received only 9 million of the 57 million euros from the transfer, leaving many questioning the deal's ethics

JULY 30, 2013

Neymar debut The Brazilian's dream finally comes true as he dons the Barcelona shirt for the first time in a friendly against Lechia Gdansk

DEC. 16, 2013

Judge examination
Barcelona is asked to hand over documentation relating to Neymar's transfer as the Spanish High Court investigates the commission fee of 40 million euros

JAN. 10, 2014

Fake claims
A Spanish judge claims that Neymar's contract could be "fake" following Jordi Cases' complaint regarding the transfer. Barca moves to deny the claims.

JAN. 23, 2014

Rosell resigns
The Barca president quits after the club holds a meeting to discuss the allegations relating to impropriety within the Neymar deal.



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