Villarreal are permanently one man down after an apparently extraordinary crime spree left Portuguese defender, Rubén Semedo, locked up behind bars

Villarreal’s full-back Rubén Semedo spent his first night on Thursday as an inmate at the Picassent Penitentiary facilities after attending the hearing where the judge put the Portuguese player on trial for an alleged attempt to commit murder or manslaughter, injuries, illegal detention, illegal possession of weapons and robbery with violence.

Quite an impressive list for a guy who’s only been in Spain for eight months.

Rubén Semedo was signed by the the ‘Yellow Submarine’ on July 2017 for $17 million from Sporting Lisbon. A young and promising central-defender with impressive physical qualities and plenty of positive feedback. However, the 23-year-old never lived up to his potential. In fact, Semedo soon decided that Spain was much more interesting at night than when the sun shined.

The first step towards his ultimate demise was making himself at home in Valencia, some 60 kilometres away from Villarreal and undoubtedly more lively. On his own and surrounded by close friends from Lisbon, and no supervision, the Portuguese player soon become a familiar sight at parties in some of the hottest venues in the city.

The first recorded incident dates back to October, at a disco in Valencia’s downtown. Semedo and a group of friends were partying at 6am when an argument ensued with another group of young men. After a few threats and pushing around, apparently things had calmed down. In fact, Semedo told one of the guys that he would gift him a Villarreal’s shirt if he came with him to his car. Once they both got there, the victim alleges the player smashed a glass bottle on his head.

The second incident allegedly took place mid-November, after an argument pub staff member in Valencia had told Semedo that the venue was closing. The Villarreal man reportedly pulled out a gun and pointed it at the man once he had left the building. “If you call the police, I’ll come back for you”, was the threat.

However, all of the consequences the player would face in those cases are ‘pecata minuta’ when compared to what he did in the first days of February.

According to the victim, a middle-aged man, Semedo and two members of his entourage lured him into Semedo’s house in Betera just outside Valencia, where he had a gun aimed at him and the player told him he would “kill him”. The man was repeatedly beaten and battered with baseball bats and a golf club, resulting in bruises and a broken ankle. Semedo also threatened to cut off his finger. Later, he was tied up and locked up in a room of the house. Meanwhile, the party stole his house keys, broke into his apartment in Valencia and stole a sum of over $26,000 dollars.

The three men then returned to Betera, picked up the victim, stashed him inside the car and again went back to Valencia in the search for another man who allegedly owed Semedo some money. At an opportune moment, the victim ran for his life in one of the busiest streets of the city. Again, Semedo’s reaction was uncanny: he fired his gun twice, but missed and couldn’t avoid his escape. Seconds later, the three kidnappers fled in their car.

The police broke into Semedo’s house last Tuesday, found the bats and golf club, the gun and blood splattered on the floor. He was put into custody and spent 48 hours imprisoned before the hearing. The charges are serious enough to believe he could be in prison for quite a few years if found guilty.


Villarreal are looking into his contract to see if they can terminate it without paying him any sort of compensation; meanwhile, they have opened a disciplinary file on him. Yet, nobody believes they will be able to recoup a cent of the $17 million invested on Semedo last summer.

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