Robinho

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Ex-Brazil forward Robinho sentenced to nine years in prison

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Former Brazil international Robinho has been sentenced to nine years in prison after being convicted of rape on an Albanian woman back in 2013.

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At the time, Robinho was playing for Serie A side AC Milan.

The court decision came down on Thursday after the 33-year-old forward had failed to attend any court hearings in Italy, where the crime reportedly took place.

Robinho is believed to have acted in the crime with five other Brazilians, to which their whereabouts are unknown to this point.

Reuters has reported that Robinho is entitled to up to two appeals and “Italy would only launch extradition proceedings once this legal process is exhausted.”

The Brazilian is known for his club playing days at AC Milan and Manchester City, among other clubs in addition to his time with the Selecao. Robinho took part in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups with Brazil.

Out of contract in China, Robinho eyeing Premier League return

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Robinho hasn’t played in the Premier League since 2010, but the 32-year-old is keen to return to England’s top flight.

[ MORE: Pep to Man City official ]

In 2008, the Brazilian striker made what was at the time a record move to Manchester City from Real Madrid, but he struggled at the Etihad and was loaned out to Santos in Brazil before joining AC Milan in 2010.

Most recently, Robinho has been playing in China for Guangzhou Evergrande. However, he only signed a six-month contract with the club last summer, and is now a free agent.

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According to reports, Robinho’s representatives have already reached out to Leicester City and Swansea City to see if they would be interested in a possible deal. Because he is out of contract, the transfer would be free and the deal could be completed after Deadline Day.

Robinho has earned 99 caps for the Brazilian national team and at a time was one of the world’s elite players, but he is now 32 and has spent the past two seasons playing against inferior competition in Brazil and China. If a Premier League club decides to take a gamble on him, it could be a low-risk, high-reward move.

Brazil 1-1 (3-4 PKs) Paraguay: Neymar-less Brazilians out of Copa America

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Down goes Brazil! Down goes Brazil!

Dunga’s Brazil side, severely weakened without captain and talisman Neymar for the rest of the tournament, were knocked out of the 2015 Copa America in the quarterfinal round by Paraguay. Following 90 minutes that ended with the sides level at 1-1, La Albirroja advanced to the semifinals after five rounds of penalty kicks.

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It wasn’t all bad for Brazil, who went ahead early on, when Robinho opened the scoring in the 15th minute. The former Real Madrid and AC Milan man hammered home the right-sided cross of Dani Alves which made its way all the way through the box and found Robinho at the back post. Roberto Firmino had a chance to control the ball at the near post, but wisely opted for the dummy and let the ball run on for Robinho.

Paraguay were undeterred, though, as Ramon Diaz’s side happily chased the game in which Brazil were content with meaningless possession and showed little interest in venturing forward in search of a second goal.

In the 72nd minute, Paraguay’s equalizer arrived in the form of Derlis Gonzalez’s converted penalty kick after Thiago Silva was adjudged to have handled the ball inside his own penalty area.

As is the case in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of Copa America, the game went straight to a penalty shootout after the 90 minutes ended with the two sides level at 1-1.

[ QF RESULTS: Argentina 0-0 (5-4 PKs) Colombia | Chile 1-0 UruguayPeru 3-1 Bolivia ] 

Fernandinho converted Brazil’s first attempt, which was followed by Osvaldo Martinez’s successful spot kick for Paraguay. Brazil’s Everton Ribeiro was the first to miss when he pulled his penalty attempt wide of the right post. Victor Caceres converted Paraguay’s second attempt to give the underdogs a 2-1 lead in the shootout.

Miranda converted Brazil’s third attempt, briefly bring his side level at 2-2, until Raul Bodabilla hammered one into the upper-90 to reclaim Paraguay’s lead at 3-2. Douglas Costa was next up for Brazil, and the Shakhtar Donetsk attacker skied his well over the crossbar. With a chance to clinch Paraguay’s place in the semifinals, Roque Santa Cruz skied his well over the crossbar as well. Still 3-2, Paraguay.

Philippe Coutinho stepped up and converted on Brazil’s fifth attempt, keeping his side alive and hopeful. Gonzalez stepped up to the spot for his second penalty of the game, and the 21-year-old Basel man showed all kinds of composure in converting his spot kick and sending Paraguay into the semifinals, where they’ll face Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and the rest of Argentina’s star-studded squad.

Report: New England Revolution, Orlando City battling it out for Robinho

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Even though Orlando City are yet to kick a ball in Major League Soccer, they are already creating plenty of waves with their acquisitions as Kaka is on board, Brek Shea is close to moving to Florida and plenty of other names are on Adrian Heath’s wishlist.

Now they are apparently battling it out with an MLS original, the New England Revolution, for the services of Brazilian winger Robinho, formerly of Real Madrid and Manchester City, and currently an AC Milan player

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The Brazilian national team player, who played at both the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, is currently on loan at Santos in his homeland after falling way down the pecking order at AC.

After being linked with a move to Orlando in the past — his good friend and former teammate at AC Milan and Brazil, Kaka, has already signed for the Lions — reports from Soccerazo claim the following.

“A new club has stepped in [for Robinho] – MLS Cup finalists, the New England Revolution. Sources indicate that Jermaine Jones’s team is interested in securing the addition of Robinho to compensate for the possible exit of Lee Nguyen. There are two other clubs in pursuit of the player – but they do not play in MLS, they are Atlas and Tigres of Mexico.”

Pure speculation or is the 30-year-old Brazilian really heading to MLS?

Orlando has a large Brazilian population and with Brazilian owner Flavio Augusto da Silva having close links to Kaka and other players, the Lions have one Designated Player spot open after adding Honduran striker Bryan Rochez earlier this week. So, they seem like a good fit as far as piecing together these rumors. As for New England, with Jermaine Jones an Jerry Bengston locking down two of their three DP spots, they also have one left but talk of Lee Nguyen leaving the Revs seems a little hasty but given his stellar 2014 campaign, perhaps overseas clubs have taken a shine to the U.S. national team attacker? Who knows.

Regardless, it seems like the race for Robinho could be on…

AC Milan CEO gives the latest on Balotelli bids, Robinho’s move to MLS

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It’s been quite a summer for Italian striker Mario Balotelli. Perhaps you could say that about every season of the controversial soon-to-be 24-year-old’s life, but we’ll worry about that some other time.

Just a few days after Balotelli posed for a photo next to an Arsenal logo — and days after AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi ripped the forward for his World Cup — there were stories that his move to London was forthcoming.

But AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani said i Rossoneri has not received a bid for Balotelli, before shifting gears to the rumored move of Robinho to Orlando City.

From Sky Sports:

Reports on Sunday suggested Arsenal had agreed a £15.8million fee with Milan for the 23-year-old but Galliani stated there had been no bid.

“We have not received any offer (for Balotelli) and at this time, there is nothing from Arsenal,” said the Milan chief.

Galliani also said that Milan and Orlando City are some way off in their negotiations over another former Manchester City forward, Robinho.

“We are trying to arrange with him (Robinho) a similar path to Kaka, but we are still distant with Orlando City,” added Galliani. “Tomorrow morning (Monday), we will talk with him and his lawyer to find a solution.”

Earlier this summer, Berlusconi said Balotelli was “going nowhere“, so the president’s speaking of his sale price was a nod to a move. And Balotelli’s gun-aiming photo for his “haters” may not exactly inspire confidence in his mental state.

As for Robinho, it would be interesting to know what fee AC Milan requests for the attacker in comparison to what Orlando City is ready to offer the Italian club.

The former Brazilian superstar-in-waiting has seen his production drop precipitously even from his disappointing time at Manchester City. With 7 goals over his last 59 games, it’s a bit of a wonder Orlando is interested at all.