100 times capped Brazil international Robinho has been sentenced to nine years in prison for sexual assault, according to reports in Italy.

The Atletico Mineiro striker is alleged to have been involved in the gang rape of a woman in a Milan nightclub in 2013, whilst he was a player with AC Milan.

An Italian court ruled that Robinho, along with five other men, had assaulted their 22-year-old victim after supplying her with significant amounts of alcohol.

Robinho did not appear in court but delivered a not guilty plea via his lawyer, and his intention to appeal the verdict was confirmed via social media.

A post on the striker’s Instagram page declared the 33-year-old former Real Madrid, Manchester City and Santos player had “already defended himself against the charges, saying he had no participation in the episode.

“All legal steps are already being taken regarding this decision”, the statement continued.

Robinho will not begin the prison term issued by the Italian judiciary until the appeal process has been completed.

The Brazilian became the most expensive player in British football when he joined Manchester City from Real Madrid, where he had won two La Liga titles in four seasons, in a £32.5m deal in 2008.

After a fairly unsuccessful spell in England he moved to AC Milan for £15m in 2010, before returning to his homeland with Atletico Mineiro in 2016 following a six-month spell playing in China.

Alistair Sargent, Editor (Sport)

(-Picture, Clube Atlético Mineiro)