After failing to find a club in Brazil due to high wage demands and a serious criminal conviction, Robinho has found an exit door in Turkey
Robinho has finally made his return to Europe, but the reasons behind the move could not have been any more unlikely. The former Brazil international has recently been convicted for a sexual assault committed in 2011 during his spell with AC Milan in Italy, and his reputation has since been under question by everyone in Brazil.
Despite all the controversy, several Brazilian clubs like São Paulo and Santos tried to sign the 34-year-old, who in the end did not renew his contract with Atlético Mineiro, which expired in December. However, the negotiations fell apart, partly because of the attacker’s high demands, but also because the fans in Brazil did not encourage their clubs in making the move, and asked for zero tolerance against sexual assault.
Robinho however, denies all these accusations and his agent completely believes in his innocence. Some Brazilian journalists like Walter Casagrande preferred to say that “Robinho is guilty, or probably guilty” of sexual assault, when debating why he believes that the former Real Madrid star does not deserve another chance in Brazilian football.
Turkish club Sivasspor, currently eighth in the league, has decided to give Robinho the opportunity and agreed to his financial demands. The 33-year old has been marketed as a “former Brazil national team star”, as the Turkish side was definitely influenced by his reputation as a footballer to excite the local fans and use his signing as a marketing coup.
Robinho, who has been sentenced to nine years in prison by Italian authorities, was safe while in Brazil, because the two countries do not have any agreement that would have forced Brazilian parties to hand over their citizen. It is being reported in some media outlets that this sort of agreement does exist between Turkey and Italy, however one would assume that Robinho would not be stupid enough to sign for a Turkish club, if he faced such a high risk of extradition as he already has enough money and would have probably targeted another country to play.
Robinho is considered one of the best performers for Brazil’s national team over the past 12 years. He was fundamental in the triumph in the Confederations Cup in 2005 and 2009, he was part of the squad of legends in World Cup squad in 2006 and was Brazil’s technical leader alongside Ricardo Kaká in South Africa in 2010.
But his best moment in a yellow shirt will forever remain Copa América 2007 when he guided Brazil to the title for the first time in eight years, and was the top scorer and the best player of the tournament, outshining the likes of Juan Roman Riquelme and Lionel Messi.
The former Seleção star’s career could not have gone any worse in its final days, as his last season at top level was probably 2011 when he scored 13 league goals, helping AC Milan win their last Serie A title. For a player with so much potential and promise, Robinho could have achieved far more. Instead, he enters his final days as a professional footballer, following a nine-year-sentence due to sexual assault.