Brazilians have reacted with fury after one of the country’s most high-profile goalkeepers was snapped up by a football team on leaving prison – despite serving only a fraction of his sentence for torturing and murdering his girlfriend, and ordering that her body be fed to his rottweilers.
Bruno Fernandes de Souza, now 32, was released from prison in February on a technicality – having served only seven years of his 22 year sentence.
In May 2009 the married footballer, who had captained his Rio de Janeiro side to the top of the Serie A league and was linked to a multi-million-pound transfer deal to AC Milan, met Eliza Samudio at one of the sex parties he and other footballers frequently attended.
Fernandes became besotted with the 25-year-old, and she fell pregnant when a condom split. He insisted she have an abortion, but she refused, and in February 2010 gave birth to a baby boy, named Bruninho – little Bruno.
Fernandes turned against her, forcing Samudio – who provided DNA evidence that Bruninho was the footballer’s son – to take him to court for child support.
In June she was lured, with her son, into a car with the promise that Fernandes was going to give her a house. Instead she was pistol-whipped and driven to Fernandes’s apartment, where she was tied to a chair and tortured for six days, in front of her son.
Fernandes’s wife, another lover, a cousin and a former police officer, Marcos Santos all took turns to beat her. It is claimed Fernandes himself watched as Santos committed “barbaric tortures” on the victim, playing music to drown out her screams before strangling her with a tie in front of her son.