Robinho protests his innocence amid prison reports

Robinho is now in Brazil playing for Atletico Mineiro.

Former Manchester City forward Robinho has been sentenced to nine years in prison for sexual assault.

A Milan court ruled that Robinho and five other Brazilians assaulted the woman, who was 22 at the time, after plying her with alcohol in a nightclub.

Robinho was playing for the Rossoneri at the time.

A statement posted on his Instagram from his legal team said: "Regarding the news involving the striker Robinho, in an incident that occurred several years ago, we wish to clarify that he already declared his innocence and maintained he had no involvement whatsoever".

Robinho had previously been accused of sexual assault during his City days, but was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing.

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"All legal steps are already being taken in response to this decision".

According to local legislation no Brazilian citizen can be extradited to another country under request to face criminal charges, although that will not apply should he leave his home nation and is detained elsewhere.

The Italian court process allows for multiple appeals and it was reported that his sentence will be put on hold until the process has run its course.

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

After a brief loan spell back at Santos, he joined AC Milan later in 2010 and won a Scudetto in his first season at the San Siro.

  • Lawrence Cooper