Fri, 04 Dec 2020

Santos leave door ajar for Robinho return

Xinhua
22 Oct 2020, 10:51 GMT+10

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Santos will welcome back Robinho if the former Real Madrid forward succeeds in his appeal against a rape conviction, the Brazilian side said on Wednesday.

Robinho returned to his original club earlier this month but had his contract suspended less than a week later amid mounting pressure from fans and sponsors.

"If Robinho is acquitted in the second instance, I have no problem with him returning. If the decision is upheld, we will terminate the contract," Santos president Orlando Rollo told a virtual press conference.

In 2017, an Italian court sentenced Robinho to nine years in prison for participating in the 2013 gang rape of a woman in Milan. The punishment was put on hold pending the completion of the appeals process.

Robinho's first appeal hearing is expected to begin in December. The 36-year-old will have another chance to contest the verdict if his first appeal fails.

Robinho, who left Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir in August, first joined Santos as a 12-year-old and made his professional debut for the club in 2002 before moving to Real Madrid three years later.

Capped 100 times for Brazil, Robinho has also had spells with Manchester City, AC Milan, Atletico Mineiro and Sivasspor over a professional career spanning almost two decades.

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