It is never nice to associate murder and accidental killing with football, but unfortunately, the beautiful game has seen its fair share of players who have been accused of killing and murdering innocent people.
There was widespread outrage when convicted murderer Bruno got a professional contract with Brazilian second-tier side Boa Esporte. But, unfortunately, it is not the only case in the world of football.
That said, let us take a look at 5 players who have been convicted for murder in the world of football
#5 Bruno Fernandes de Souza
Brazilian goalkeeper Bruno Fernandes de Souza had been sentenced to 22 years in jail for ordering the murder of estranged girlfriend Eliza Samudio in 2010. The former Flamengo captain was found guilty by a jury of five women and two men at court.
He was convicted of hiding the model’s body, chopping it up into tiny pieces and feeding it to the dogs. He was also further convicted on charges of kidnapping his son. All this in the normal world would have seen Bruno being locked up for good.
However, Bruno was shockingly released in February 2019 pending an appeal. What was even more despicable was the fact that second-tier club Boa Esporte immediately handed the shot-stopper a professional contract.
Bruno was not even repentant after his release. As quoted by the Guardian, Bruno said:
“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.”
One can only hope that the Brazilian authorities and judicial system lock up the former Atletico Mineiro and Flamengo goalkeeper once again and give Eliza Samudio the justice she deserves.
#4 Diego Buonanotte
Considered to be one of the most promising youngsters in world football, Diego Buonanotte was part of Argentine giants River Plate and was even Lionel Messi’s team-mate in the Argentina squad which won the 2008 Olympic gold medal.
In December 2009, the Argentine winger survived a fatal car crash as the sole survivor after he lost control of his car and slammed it into a tree. The footballer was driving his father’s Peugeot 307 and was on his way back from a night-out when this unfortunate incident occurred.
While 3 of his companions in the car lost their lives, Diego made an amazing recovery and was back on the football pitch within 5 months. After his recovery, there were calls from local prosecutor Carlos Colimedaglia to arrest him on three charges of manslaughter, but the charges were never pursued.
The 31-year-old Argentine has had a decent career after that fateful crash and has represented the likes of Malaga, Granda and AEK Athens. Currently, the versatile winger plays in Chile for Universidad Catolica.
When asked at a later date as to how he was coping with the accident, Buonanotte, himself, said he managed to cope with the accident but revealed the opposition fans shout slurs directed at him, like "murderer".
#3 Patrick Kluivert
Ajax and Barcelona legend Patrick Kluivert was the darling of the Dutch public during his first season at Ajax. An extremely gifted footballer, Kluivert won a host of major trophies with the Dutch side including a memorable UEFA Champions League triumph in 1995.
However, the talented footballer’s career in the Netherlands came to a crashing halt when the then 19-year-old crashed his friend’s BMW M3 into Dutch theatre director Martin Putnam's car, resulting in the 56-year-old’s death.
Also Read: PSG appoint Kluivert as Director of Football
A reconstruction of the scene revealed Kluivert had been travelling at 104kmh in a 50kmh residential zone and he was driving in a non-insured car. A witness close to the scene described the incident, as details emerged of the unfortunate event.
"He was in his friend's car and he clearly could not handle the power of it, the noise of the crash sounded like a bomb exploding."
Kluivert revealed how he was put through hell by the unforgiving Dutch public.
"One minute I was the idol of the public, the hero of Dutch football. And the next minute they slaughtered me because of what I had done."
A year later, Kluivert, unable to handle the hate, left Ajax to join AC Milan. He later had a hugely successful career with Barcelona and Newcastle United.
#2 Marcos Alonso
Chelsea full-back Marcos Alonso, who turned out for Bolton Wanderers at the time, was arrested in 2011 for his involvement in a car crash in Spain’s capital Madrid. He was the driver of the car which collided with a wall which led to the death of a co-passenger, who was a 22-year-old woman.
Alonso was driving at 122.8kmh in wet conditions in a 50 kmh zone. What made the car crash even more tragic was the fact that the Spaniard had a blood alcohol level of 0.93mg per litre. (Almost 3 times the permissible alcohol level in Spain)
Originally facing four years in prison, Alonso had his sentence reduced to 21 months and it was later dropped completely, as the full-back paid €500,000 in an out-of-court settlement to the victim's family.
The high-flying full-back is currently a regular feature for Chelsea in the Premier League, but the Spaniard arguably deserved more punishment for causing the death of an innocent 22-year-old.
#1 Alexandre Villaplane
Alexandre Villaplane was a midfielder who even captained the French side in the 1930 World Cup. But Villaplane was also a Nazi collaborator who committed heinous war crimes and directly killed more than 50 people during his lifetime.
The Algerian-born Frenchman played in the inaugural season of Ligue 1, but was soon arrested for corruption and got embroiled in a horse race-fixing scandal.
However, in 1944, Villaplane’s life took a much darker turn when he became the head of the North African Brigade. It was a criminal organisation which collaborated with the German Nazis in anti-resistance activities.
Villaplane is mainly remembered for his extreme cruelty and brutality, having ordered 53 people to be executed in Mussidan. After he was caught in 1944, the former French captain was sentenced to death and executed on 26th December 1944 by a firing squad.