The Spanish court has ordered Barcelona to pay 7.7 million euros (8.2 million dollars) in compensation for unfair dismissal of Brazilian soccer player Matheus Fernandes, the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia reported on Tuesday.
On the other hand, the court of Social 10 of Barcelona rejects the claim of 5 million euros (5.3 million dollars) for “moral and reputational damages” that the player requested, in a sentence that has already been appealed by Barça.
Signed in the winter market of 2020 from Palmeiras, Barcelona announced in June 2021, three months after Joan Laporta became president, the termination of his contract, which ran until 2025.
As soon as he arrived, Matheus played directly on loan at Valladolid and in August 2020, he joined Barcelona, but the then coach Ronald Koeman barely gave him 17 minutes in a Champions League match.
According to the sentence, Barça alleged the player’s poor performance to proceed with his dismissal, after just a year and a half at the Barça club.
The judge rejected this argument, stating that “neither the content of the employment contract of January 30, 2020 nor the absence of real and concrete factual content of the dismissal letter shows insufficient performance of the actor in training.”
The magistrate also does not see “his own real comparative parameter with his previous performance or with other players in agreed or accredited terms that justifies any disciplinary breach.”
“There is no record in the case file or that the FCB prior to the effects of the dismissal (it is reiterated, on the last day of the 2020-2021 season) required the footballer at any time to improve his performance in training or to attempt the transfer of the player to another team”, adds the judge.
The magistrate points out that “the real reason for the extinction was the unilateral business decision to do without and not assume as part of its squad a footballer signed by the previous board against the sporting criteria of those responsible, technical secretariat and technical team- coach, from the club” and therefore declares the dismissal inadmissible.
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At the end of that season, the club decided to drop the footballer unilaterally when he had four more years left on his contract.
Matheus sued Barcelona and now the judge has sentenced the culé entity to pay 8.5 million for unfair dismissal. This amount together with the 7 million that they paid for the transfer amounts to 15.5 million euros. In other words, the Barça club has paid him practically one million euros for every minute played.