Robinho convicted of gang rape

Former AC Milan and Real Madrid striker Robinho has been sentenced to nine years in prison in Italy after he was convicted of gang rape, said local media reports on Thursday.

The alleged incident occurred in January 2013, when the Brazilian was playing for Milan in Serie A.

He was found guilty in absentia by an Italian court for raping a 22-year-old Albanian woman.

Five of the player's friends were accused of the same crime.

One of the accused was also given a nine-year prison sentence while the trial of the four others has been suspended because they are on the run.

Robinho, who is currently playing for Atletico Mineiro in Brazil, posted messages on his Instagram and Facebook profiles protesting his innocence and his lawyer said an appeal against the verdict had been launched.

The 33-year-old won 100 international caps for Brazil and played in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. - AFP