A goalkeeper who was sent to prison for killing his ex-girlfriend and feeding her to dogs is back in football after signing for Brazilian second division side Boa Esporte.
Bruno Fernandes, known in Brazil as Bruno, was sentenced to 22 years in prison in 2013 for the murder of former partner Eliza Samudio three years earlier.
At his trial, Bruno admitted to knowing Ms Samudio had been strangled and fed to dogs, but denied ordering the killing. The prosecution claimed the incident occurred after a dispute over child maintenance payments for the couple’s son.
However, the former Flamengo goalkeeper was released last month, pending an appeal, following a legal technicality and has now been signed by Boa Esporte.
At his news conference today, he refused to answer any questions about his former partner but was quoted by BBC Sport as saying: “I am very happy for the opportunity I have been given”.
Bruno fully focused on football
The Brazilian shot-stopper is fully focused on football and is eyeing a successful season with the Serie B side, who start their campaign against Vila Nova in May.
"I want to help Boa Esporte to get to the first division," he continued. "I thought several times that I wouldn't make it. But I can't throw in the towel, my wife wouldn't accept it. I have to believe in me."
His return to football has been met with uproar in Brazil and caused protests of condemnation at Boa Esporte’s decision to offer him a contract.
Both of the team’s main sponsors and their kit maker, Kanxa, have finished all association with the club.
Bruno feels welcome in Varginha
Bruno though claimed he felt “very welcomed” in the city of Varginha, where the Boa Esporte are based, and praised them for offering him another chance.
"People demand a lot of me for what happened in the past. Boa Esporte is opening the doors for me," he added.
Sensationally, it isn’t only domestic football Bruno has his eye on. Having been tipped to start for Brazil at the 2014 World Cup before being sent to jail, he revealed he still has ambitions to play for his country.
"One should always keep dreaming," he said. "One day I dreamed of making my comeback and I am now living this moment."
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