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Italy issues arrest warrant for Robinho after rape conviction

Italy’s Justice Ministry has issued an international arrest warrant for former Man City and AC Milan forward Robinho after the country’s top court confirmed his conviction for rape.

The ministry has asked the global police agency Interpol to enact the warrant.

Robinho, whose full name is Robson de Souza, lives in Brazil. The South American country does not extradite its nationals, which means Robinho would only face arrest if he travelled abroad.

A Milan court in 2017 found Robinho and five other Brazilians guilty of gang raping a woman after plying her with alcohol in a nightclub.

The conviction was confirmed by an appeals court in 2020 and validated by Italy’s Supreme Court last month.

Robinho, 38, has always denied the charge.

He was capped 100 times by Brazil and played for top European clubs Real Madrid and Manchester City as well as AC Milan.

Robinho became the most expensive player in British football when he joined City from Real for £32.5m in 2008.

However, he struggled to adapt to the Premier League and was sold to AC Milan for just £15m two years later after a loan spell at his hometown club Santos.

Robinho spent four seasons at the San Siro, during which the offence took place, before moving to Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande in 2015.

He spent just one season in China before moving back to Brazil with Atletico Mineiro in 2016.

He then had spells at Turkish clubs Sivasspor and Istanbul Basaksehir, but is yet to play since leaving Turkey in 2020.

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