Robinho is still a celebrated footballer in Brazil despite being convicted of rape in Italy

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Brazilian footballer, Robinho is a convict in Italy but he is still living as a freeman in his country. He has refused to return to Italy to face his 9 years jail term after his appeal against the sentence failed earlier in the month.

Recall that Robinho started his professional football career at Brazilian club, Santos in 2002. From there, he moved to Real Madrid in 2005 for a transfer fee worth €24 million.

In 2008, the Brazilian football icon became the most expensive signing in the Premier League when he left Real Madrid for Manchester City for a transfer fee worth €43 million.

While in the Premier League, things did not pick up as much as expected, hence, he had to return to Santos on loan on January 28, 2010. He left City on a permanent deal in the same year and joined AC Milan for a transfer fee worth €21 million.

In Italy, his career continue to nosedive as he had to return to Santos on loan again in 2014. While in 2015, he left AC Milan for GZ Evergrande on a free transfer. From there, he returned to Brazil to play for Atlético-MG on a free transfer in 2016.

Robinho plays for two Turkish clubs – Sivasspor and Basaksehir between 2018 and 2019 before he returned to Brazil again to join Santos on October 10, 2020.

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Six days after, pressure from women rights activists forced Santos to terminate his contract which forced him to retire from the game on October 16, 2020.

What we know about Robinho’s rape scandal

Robinho is still a celebrated footballer in Brazil despite being convicted of rape in Italy

In January 2013, Robinho and five other friends raped a 23-year-old Albanian woman at a Milan nightclub. At that period, the 38-year-old retired footballer was playing for AC Milan.

When the case was taken to court then, the footballer denied the allegation, stressing that he did not rape the victim.

After a series of back and forth, on November 23, 2017, an Italian court
sentenced the Brazilian footballer to nine years in prison. At the point of the sentence, the football star was playing for a Brazilian side, Atlético-MG.

Based on the laws in Italy, a sentence can not be enforced until the appeal process is completed. Robinho took advantage of the clause by appealing the case which gave him room to remain free.

On December 10, 2020, an Italian court upheld his 9 years sentence after an appeal. In the same vein, a court in Rome upheld the sentence again in January 2022.

Why Robinho is not in jail yet after his appeal failed in two Italian courts

Robinho is still a celebrated footballer in Brazil despite being convicted of rape in Italy

As mentioned earlier, when Robinho was sentenced to 9 years in prison for raping an Albanian woman, the retired footballer was in Brazil. That became good news for the footballer because Brazilian law does not permit its citizens to be extradited to a foreign country.

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Hence, Robinho remained a freeman and continued to play active football in the Brazilian league. He however decided to appeal the judgment which gave him room to join a foreign club without risking an arrest.

Robinho enjoyed this privilege because Italian laws don’t permit a convicted person to be jailed if his case is still going through an appeal.

Hence, he was able to play for Sivasspor and Basaksehir even though he was sentenced in Italy for rape. The footballer had returned to Brazil to play for Santos before his first appeal failed in Italy.

But the fact that Brazilian laws don’t permit citizens of the country to be extradited, Robinho remains a free person in the country. The only thing he has not been able to do due to the sentence is to play for a professional club.

Even though Santos was forced to terminate Robinho’s contract due to the sentence, the club still allow the Brazilian footballer to use their facility to train.

Aside from that, he still attends some football-related functions especially before another Italian club upheld his sentence in January.

One of the shocking public appearances Robinho has made recently was a visit to Neymar’s grandmother. The Paris Saint Germain winger shared a picture on Instagram during the last Christmas holiday in which he posed alongside Robinho and his grandmother.

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The picture attracted backlash against Neymar for involving himself with a convicted rapist who has refused to return to Italy to serve his jail term. Neymar’s relationship with Robinho reminded people about the fact that Neymar was also accused of rape few years ago.

As it stands, Robinho has been listed by Interpol as a wanted person. If he refuses to return to Italy to serve his jail term, Interpol would have to wait until the footballer travel to a country that has laws that permits extradition.

Robinho’s immediate family

File photo of Robinho and his family.
File photo of Robinho and his family.

Robinho is still a proud family man. He has been married to Vivian Guglielminetti since 2009 which means that he was married when he was involved in the gang rape.

The marriage between him and Guglielminetti has produced two children – Robson Jr Guglielmetti de Souza (2007) and Gianluca Guglielmetti de Souza (2011).

Robinho and his two children.
Robinho and his two children.

Robinho who made his debut for Brazil’s national team on July 13, 2003, last played for the country five years ago after making 100 appearances and scoring 28 goals.

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