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Robinho is plotting a shock return to football in his homeland Brazil despite receiving a nine-year prison sentence for rape. The former Manchester City forward retired in 2020, cutting his second stint at Santos short to focus on his defence, but he could soon be back in action.
Robinho was convicted of rape and handed a nine-year sentence in Italy in 2017, but his appeal process has been ongoing since, and he remains in Brazil.
The incident was ruled to have happened in January 2013, when he allegedly joined five other men in the gang rape of a 22-year-old Albanian woman at Milan’s Sio Cafe nightclub.
Robinho was playing for AC Milan when he allegedly sexually assaulted the woman, who the Italian courts ordered to receive over £53,000 as compensation.
In January 2022, the Court of Cassation in Rome rejected an appeal against the conviction from the Man City flop and friend Ricardo Falco, both among the group found guilty.
In October 2022, the Italian Ministry of Justice sent a written request to Brazil to extradite Robinho and Falco. However, the Brazilian Constitution doesn’t allow the extradition of their citizens from their homeland.
The ex-Brazil international continues to reject the accusations and is now reportedly eyeing a way back into football.
According to UOL, the 39-year-old has held talks with Santos-based club Portuguesa Santista, who play in the A-2 division of the Paulista Championship.
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He is also in discussions with Serie D outfit Brasiliense, but no agreement has yet been reached with either interested party.
Robinho joined Milan in 2010 and played at the San Siro until 2015 before moving to Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande.
A year later, he returned to Atletico Mineiro and represented the club while he received his initial conviction.
After two seasons in his homeland, Robinho moved to Turkey in 2018, playing for Sivasspor in his first year and Istanbul Basaksehir in his second.
In 2020, he returned to Santos, where he started his career, but the Brazilian giants suspended his contract just days later after backlash and sponsor withdrawals. His retirement came soon after.
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Emerson Coelho, Portuguesa Santista’s vice president and director of football, has expressed his desire to accommodate Robinho’s return to the pitch after three years but poured doubt over the possibility.
He confirmed: “We have tried. We talked about the possibility [of signing him]. He has this problem, and we had a superficial conversation.
“It was not an official proposal, he did not give an official response, but we considered it. He is a great player. Who wouldn’t?
“But there is this problem. We move on with our lives, and he with his. We hope he solves his life in the legal part.
“What happened was a conversation. Portuguese Santista having Robinho would be very cool, but it was only a matter of conversation.”
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