Robinho could be set for football comeback – despite nine-year sentence for rape

Disgraced football star Robinho is reportedly on the cusp of making a shock return to football after his nine-year prison stint for rape.

The Brazilian baller received the lengthy sentence in 2017 after he was found guilty of participating in a gang rape of a woman at a Milan nightclub. The horrific sex crime allegedly took place in 2013 when Robinho was playing for AC Milan. Robinho continues to reject the accusations.

The forward protested his innocence but the conviction was upheld by an appeals court in 2020, and he lost his final appeal attempt in January 2022. But after seeking refuge in his native Brazil, who refused to comply with Italy's request to extradite him back to Europe to serve his sentence due to a law that protects natives in the South American country from being handed over to other nations, Robinho could be in line for another spell on the pitch, according to UOL.

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Robinho graced some of the biggest stages in the world during spells at Manchester City, Real Madrid and Milan. But the left winger's return to the sport will be less glamorous this time around as two Brazilian minnows are battling for his signature.

The report claims that Portuguesa Santista and Brasiliense are the two teams willing to resurrect Robinho's career. If he opts to join Santisa, he'll play in the second tier of the San Paulo state league. But if Brasiliense tickle his fancy, the 38-year-old will slug it out in the Brazilian fourth tier.

However, no deal with either side is close to being agreed, although Santista's president Emerson Coelho admitted signing the forward would be "cool." He said: "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."

If Santisa beat Brasiliense to the punch, they'll be getting a Copa America winner who notched 146 goals and provided 91 assists in 552 games.

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