10 top footballers who have been accused of criminal offences

By , K24 Digital
On Sat, 28 Jan, 2023 07:00 | 5 mins read
10 top footballers who have been charged with criminal offences
Ex Barcelona and Sevilla defender Dani Alves. PHOTO/Courtesy

Several renowned footballers have been dragged into criminal cases and while some of these footballers were found not guilty of the criminal offences, others were sentenced to serve jail terms and lost all their accolades.

Here is a list of soccer stars who have previously been charged with criminal offences.

Mason Greenwood

Manchester United and England player Mason Greenwood is facing alleged rape and assault charges.

The allegations were made on social media by his lover.

Following this, several soccer stars have started distancing themselves from Greenwood.

Players like Ronaldo, David, Pogba and other footballers shunned Mason on Instagram.

He remains suspended by the club, pending the outcome of the judicial process.

A collage of Mason Greenwood and his lover.

Dani Alves

Former Barcelona and Sevilla defender Dani Alves was sentenced to 18 years in prison after he was found guilty of sexual assault.

The right-back is the most recent celebrated footballer who has been named in criminal offences.

Details show that Alves,39, sexually assaulted a 23-year-old woman on the night of December 30, 2022, at the Sutton nightclub in Barcelona.

According to the victim's statement, which the investigating judge considers "forceful and persistent", the player forced himself on her in a bathroom located in a reserved area of the Sutton nightclub in Barcelona on the night of December 30 to 31.

Ex Barcelona and Sevilla defender Dani Alves. 
Ex Barcelona and Sevilla defender Dani Alves.

Benjamin Mendy

Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy was dragged into a sexual assault case which saw him get suspended from the club in August 2021 before losing his salary in September 2021.

He was recently found not guilty and cleared of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault.

The jury was discharged after it failed to reach a verdict on two further charges.

He remains under trial on the remaining two charges.

Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy. 
Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy.

Neymar Jr

The Brazil soccer star who currently plays for PSG and other defendants were embroiled in a fraud and corruption case over his 2013 transfer to Barcelona from Santos.

The suit had been brought by Brazilian investment firm DIS, the owner of 40% of the rights to Neymar when he was at Santos. He now plays for Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar was later acquitted and all charges in the high-profile trial were dropped.

Brazil football star Neymar Jr. 
Brazil football star Neymar Jr.

Karim Benzema & Frank Ribery

French players Karim Benzema and Frank Ribery had been accused of having sex with an underage prostitute identified as Zahia Dehar.

The charges were later dropped with the judge ruling that there was insufficient proof the men were aware that Zahia Dehar was a minor at the time the alleged offences took place.

The two footballers, who denied the charges, had faced up to three years in prison if convicted.

French players Karim Benzema and Frank Ribery.


Ronaldhino Gaúcho, the Brazilian star – who is arguably one of the greatest footballers of the 2000s, spent five months in a Paraguayan jail in 2020 where he also celebrated his 40th birthday.

The former Barcelona attacker, famed for his prowess while playing for PSG, had been accused of entering Paraguay with a false passport with his brother.

This was after his Brazilian and Spanish passports were seized as part of another charge of unpaid taxes against him in 2019.

With a possible five-year jail term, Ronaldinho and his brother accepted a plea deal for release.

The duo paid $90,000 and $110,000 fine and placed a guilty plea.

Former Brazilian soccer star Ronaldhino. 
Former Brazilian soccer star Ronaldhino.

David de Gea

The Manchester United goalkeeper was accused of organising a meeting between two footballers and two women working as prostitutes in a Madrid hotel in 2012.

De Gea was luckily implicated in the case shortly before Spain’s national team began their European Championships campaign in France in 2016 and despite pressure for him to be dropped from the squad, De Gea started as Spain’s goalkeeper in all four of the team’s matches at the tournament.

At the time, prosecution say they found inconsistencies in the witness’ evidence.

He had also strongly denied the allegations, saying: “I want to refute these allegations. These are lies and mistruths. The matter remains in the hands of my lawyers. It is all false.”

Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal star who is currently playing for Al Nassr Cristiano Ronaldo had his rape allegation lawsuit dropped in 2022.

According to the US judge who ruled out the case said the accuser's lawyer relied on leaked and stolen records.

The accuser identified as Kathryn Mayorga had alleged that the Manchester United footballer raped her at a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.

Reports show that she reached an out-of-court settlement with the star in 2010, but has been seeking more millions arguing that her emotional trauma at the time did not allow her to participate in the mediation process, and she felt pressured to accept the offer.

Cristiano Ronaldo during a past fixture for Portugal:

Adam Johnson

Former Sunderland and England footballer Adam Johnson who was also stripped of his 12 England caps, was jailed for six years for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old schoolgirl in what was termed as a “calculated, considered and carefully orchestrated” abuse of his celebrity status.

Johnson showed no emotion as he was imprisoned for kissing and sexually touching the teenage girl, whom prosecutors said he groomed in a “single-minded pursuit of his own sexual gratification”.

He admitted kissing and grooming the besotted fan and was later found guilty of a more serious child sexual assault.

Sentencing him, the judge, said he had abused his position of trust with a girl 12 years his junior in a way that had caused her “severe psychological harm”.

Former Sunderland and England footballer Adam Johnson. 
Former Sunderland and England footballer Adam Johnson.