Footballer Robinho sentenced to nine years for rape

Former Manchester City star Robinho sentenced to nine years in prison

Robinho has been sentenced to nine years in prison after being found guilty of sexual assault.

Now playing for Atletico Mineiro in his native Brazil, Robinho's lawyer said in a statement that the 33-year-old Robinho denied the charges and will appeal the court's decision.

Prosecutors had requested jail terms of 10 years, reported the ANSA news agency, and one of Robinho's alleged friends, Ricardo Falco, another Brazilian, was sentenced to nine years.

A statement posted on his official Instagram account also says: "'We would like to clarify that he has already defended himself against the accusations, affirming that he did not participate in the episode", said a statement posted on Robinho's Instagram feed.

The Brazilian has the right of appeal and the sentence will not be enforced until that process has been completed, according to Sky Sports.

"Every legal measure is being taken about this first ruling". Even if the former Milan player loses the appeal, he would still have to extradited to serve prison time in Italy.

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For the other four, accused of gang rape while taking advantage of the woman who was drunk, the trial was suspended.

Robinho has won 100 caps for Brazil, scoring 28 goals.

Robinho played over 40 games for Manchester City between 2008 and 2010 after signing from Real Madrid.

Robinho was with Milan for five years from 2010 before joining Santos on loan in his final season.

Robinho moved to Europe amid much hype in 2005 when he joined Real Madrid from Santos.

Robinho was playing for the Rossoneri at the time. And after a five year spell, he secured a transfer to Chinese side Guangzhou Evergande.

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