Former Manchester City striker Robinho has been sentenced to nine years in prison for the sexual assault of a woman in 2013.

The Brazilian was found guilty of assaulting a 22-year-old Albanian woman in a Milan nightclub alongside five other Brazilians in a court in the northern city on Thursday (23 November).

Robinho, whose full name is Robson de Souza, is currently in his native Brazil, where he plays for Atletico Mineiro, which are based in Belo Horizonte.

The 33-year-old did not appear at the hearing, and never appeared at any of the court hearings, reported Sky Italia.

But his lawyer was present who plead not guilty in the footballer's absence, with a trial currently on hold.

The sexual assault allegedly took place while Robinho was playing for AC Milan between 2010 to 2015.

The five men were accused of plying the girl with alcohol in a discotheque and then taking advantage of her.

Prosecutors had requested jail terms of 10 years, reported the ANSA news agency, and one of Robinho's alleged friends, Ricardo Falco, another Brazilian, was sentenced to nine years.

It was not stated where the other four men were and the Milan court ordered the victim to receive €60,000 (£53,432) as compensation.

It was reported that Robinho has the right to two appeals in Italy and the sentence will not be enforced until that process has been completed, which could mean extradition proceedings being activated.

A statement on the Brazilian's Instagram feed read: "We would like to clarify that he has already defended himself against the accusations, affirming that he did not participate in the episode. All legal measures are being taken."

Robinho from Real Madrid to Manchester City
Manchester City bought Robinho for £32.5m in 2008. Reuters

Robinho played more than 40 games for Manchester City between 2008 and 2010, scoring 14 domestic goals for the club, after signing from Real Madrid.

His transfer to City, for £32.5m, made him the most expensive player in British football, but after two years Robinho was sold to AC Milan for roughly £15m.

The forward, who has been capped 100 times by Brazil, returned to his home country last year to join Atletico Mineiro from Guangzhou Evergrande.