The story of Brazilian goalkeeper Bruno and his sentencing to 22 years in prison is one that makes the stomach turn. Back in 2010, Bruno was playing for Flamengo in the Brazilian Serie A and reportedly on the verge of joining AC Milan.
Involved in a dispute with former model Eliza Samudio over child support payments, Bruno had his friends kidnap her, torture her, murder her and fed to Rottweilers. A month after Samudio's disappearance, a judge ordered Bruno's arrest.
According to Barney Ronay, Bruno said, “In the future, I’ll be able to laugh at this” upon entering the courtroom.
Bruno was convicted of these charges in 2013 and sentenced to 22 years in prison. Then, just six years and seven months into the sentencing, Bruno was released on the grounds of unlawful imprisonment due to the slow processing of an appeal request.
Not only did Bruno serve less than a third of his original sentence, he also wanted to play football again. A month later, he was signed by Brazilian second division club Boa Esporte. The club owner, Rafael Gois Silva Xavier, said, “He was found guilty, he served his time and he was released by the courts. He deserves another opportunity.”
In his first interview since signing with the club, Bruno, according to The Guardian, had this to say: “Dude, what happened, happened. I made a mistake, a serious one, but mistakes happen in life — I’m not a bad guy. People tried to bury my dream because of one mistake, but I asked God for forgiveness, so I’m carrying on with my career, dude. I’m starting over.”
According to Jonathan Watts three of the club’s sponsors have pulled out, and there are plans to demonstrate outside of the stadium and boycott matches, but, says Watts, “it seems many others are more than happy to overlook murder and torture, as long as their team has a famous goalkeeper and their team lets in fewer goals over the next two seasons.”