Veteran Brazil international striker Robinho on Thursday had a nine-year sentence for the rape of a young woman upheld by a court in Italy.
Judges of the Milan Court of Appeal confirmed the sentence for both Robinho and one of his friends for group sexual violence dating back to January 2013.
Robinho was playing for AC Milan at the time of the attack and was tried in absentia in November 2017.
The pair were among a group of six men accused of taking part in the gang rape of a 22-year-old Albanian woman in a Milan nightclub.
The case against the four others accused has been suspended.
Robinho, 36, who has denied the charges, has the right to again appeal the sentence within 90 days.
Robinho was forced to pull out of a move back to his first club Santos last October amid pressure brought to bear on the Brazilian club by sponsors.
Television channel Globo Sports released excerpts of a recording Italian prosecutors used to secure their conviction, in which the player purportedly says, “I’m laughing because I don’t care. The woman was completely drunk. She doesn’t even know what happened.”
Robinho started his career at Santos in 2002 and joined Real Madrid in 2005, then going on to play for Manchester City from 2008 to 2010, and Milan for four years until 2014.
He also played in China with Guangzhou Evergrande, Atletico Mineiro in Spain and Turkish club Istanbul Basaksehir.
He has 100 Brazil caps and 28 goals for his country.