Barcelona striker Neymar has been cleared of any criminal charges in a long-running tax evasion case in Brazil, a Brazilian court said on Wednesday.
A judge in Sao Paulo said there was a “lack of just cause” in the case that alleged he underpaid income tax between 2011 and 2014.
Neymar’s father and agent said Wednesday’s decision was a major victory.
“It is with great happiness that we received the news of the shelving of the Public Ministry’s case of tax evasion,” Neymar Snr. said in a statement sent to Reuters.
“The process is officially closed (and) that proves the legality of all our acts.”
Neymar could still, however, have to pay substantial sums to Brazil’s tax office.
Brazil’s federal tax office charged Neymar in 2015 with evading 63 million reais ($19.94 million) in taxes due on income earned from the Santos and Barcelona soccer clubs and sponsors between 2011 and 2014.
Neymar appealed last year and a court ruling in his favour in March halved the penalty of 200 million reais in fines, back-taxes and interest that Brazil’s tax office had slapped on the player.
This was separate to the criminal prosecution brought by federal prosecutors, which has now been shelved.