ROBINHO has sensationally left Santos – less than a week after he re-signed for his boyhood club.
The Brazilian club announced his contract had been terminated by mutual consent so that he can “focus exclusively” on gang rape charges made against him in Italy.
Robinho, 36, was sentenced to nine years in prison by an Italian court after the alleged gang rape of an Albanian woman in 2013.
The player denies the charges and is appealing the verdict.
The former Man City striker only signed for Santos a week ago.
So desperate was he to join that he even agreed to a tiny salary of just £200-a-month.
He was a free agent following his release by Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir.
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The decision to terminate his contract comes days after a leading sponsor pulled out in reaction to his signing.
Shirt sponsor Orthopride stated that their decision to tear up their contract was down to ‘respect’ for their female customers.
Chief operating officer Richard Adam told Globo Esporte: “We have enormous respect for Santos’ history. But at this point, we have decided to terminate the sponsorship contract.
“Our audience is mostly female and, out of respect for the women who buy our products, we had to make that decision.
“We want to make it clear that we were not previously informed about the signing of Robinho, we were taken by surprise by the news over the weekend.”
FROM £160,000-A-WEEK TO £52
Dad-of-two Robinho was Man City’s first big-money signing after their 2008 takeover when they gazumped Chelsea to seal a £32.5million deal, breaking the British transfer record at the time.
He was earning £160,000-a-week.
He made a promising start, scoring 14 goals in the 2008-09 season, but only featured in ten games the following season and moved to Santos on loan after a fall-out with Roberto Mancini before signing for AC Milan in 2010.
Robinho’s latest deal at Santos was to see him paid a symbolic salary of only 1,500 Brazilian reals – the equivalent of just £207.
But local reports said his basic wage would be topped up with bonuses if he made enough first-team appearances – around £41,000 after ten games and the same fee again after 15.
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Robinho, who signed his first contract with Santos when he was 18 after he was picked by Brazil legend Pele as his heir apparent, said at his signing ceremony a week ago: “This was always my home.
“My aim is to help on and off the pitch and help Santos FC return to the summit they should never have left.
“It’s a marvellous feeling being back at the club where I made my name.
“I grew up here. I always dreamed of being a footballer and Santos FC made this possible.”