In another classic case of playing penalty to throwing, one of the foremost football talents Brazil has ever produced, Robinho has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

The one-time most expensive player in the world has been convicted by an Italian court for taking part in a gang rape of an Albanian woman in 2013.

The 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 discotheque.

The whereabouts of Robinho’s five companions is not known, so their trial has been put on hold.

Robinho, 33, who currently plays with Atletico Mineiro in Brazil, pleaded not guilty via his lawyer and never appeared at any of the court hearings in northern Italy.

“We would like to clarify that he has already defended himself against the accusations, affirming that he did not participate in the episode,” said a statement posted on Robinho’s Instagram feed. “All legal measures are being taken.”

Robinho has a right to two appeals and Italy would only seek extradition once this legal process is exhausted, a legal source told Reuters.

The Milan court ordered the victim receive €60,000 ($71,000) as compensation for her suffering.

Robinho has won 100 caps for Brazil, scoring 28 goals.

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