Robinho to serve 9-year jail sentence

Edwin  - CEO March 21, 2024
Updated 2024/03/21 at 6:16 PM
4 Min Read
Robinho Image credit: Inside World Football
Robinho Image credit: Inside World Football

 In Brazil for gang rape conviction in Italy



Former Manchester City and Real Madrid striker Robinho must serve a nine-year prison sentence in his native Brazil as a result of a 2017 rape conviction in Italy, Brazilian judges have ruled, Andrew Warshaw reports for Inside World Football.


Robinho has always denied the claims that he took part in the gang rape of a 22-year-old Albanian woman at a nightclub in Milan in January 2013. But the court decided by nine votes to two in favor of an Italian request that Robinho be jailed in his home country.


His lawyer, Jose Alckmin, told reporters he would work to keep his client out of jail while they appealed.


The former Brazil international, now 40, was initially convicted by an Italian court for the crime committed four years earlier when he played for AC Milan.


He lost in the Milan Court of Appeal in 2020. In 2022, his sentence was upheld by Italy’s highest court, after which Italian prosecutors issued an international arrest warrant for him.


However, Brazil does not extradite its nationals, and Italy asked that Robinho be made to serve his sentence in his home country instead.


Robinho said in an interview on Sunday that racism was to blame for his conviction in Italy.


“I played only four years in Italy, and I got tired of seeing stories of racism. Unfortunately, that exists to this day. (The rape case) was in 2013, and now we are in 2024. The same people who don’t do anything against it (racism) are the ones who sentenced me,” he declared.


“I was unfairly convicted in Italy for something that did not occur.”


For Robinho, who won 100 caps for Brazil, it has been a dramatic fall from grace.


Having begun his career in 2002 at Santos, a team made famous by Brazil’s great Pele, Robinho was touted as the successor to the golden generation of Ronaldo, Rivaldo, and Ronaldinho.


2005, he joined Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, and David Beckham at Real Madrid. He played for Manchester City from 2008 to 2010 and Milan for four years until 2014.


He also played in China with Guangzhou Evergrande, Atletico Mineiro in Brazil, and Turkish club Istanbul Basaksehir.


Lawyer Jacopo Gnocchi, who represented the victim, said he and his client were satisfied by the Brazil court’s ruling.


“We believe that this is the fair conclusion of a case that took place in Italy, with assurances for all the defendants who were then found guilty,” Gnocchi told Brazilian news website UOL.


“We respected and understood that the Brazilian Constitution does not allow the extradition (of its citizens), but that does not change the fact that when the sentence is final, it is fair… that the sentence is applied.”


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