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10 footballers whose careers were marked by jail terms

Brazilian football superstar Dani Alves has been jailed for four-and-a-half years after being convicted of raping a woman at a Spanish nightclub.

Incarcerated footballers

The disgraced former Barcelona star learnt his fate this morning after being driven to the Barcelona court where he was tried earlier this month in a police van.

Alves joins a list of ex-football stars who have found themselves grappling with the law over the years.

Here are ten footballers who found themselves on the wrong side of the law, leading to incarceration.

These stories serve as a reminder of the challenges and pressures that can accompany professional sports careers.


Former England international and Sunderland winger, Adam Johnson, was convicted of engaging in sexual activity with a minor in 2016. His career was abruptly halted, and he faced a significant prison sentence.

The Brazilian goalkeeper, known as Bruno, was convicted in 2013 for his involvement in the kidnapping and murder of his ex-girlfriend. This shocking case drew widespread attention and ended his football career.


Joey Barton, known for his time at Manchester City, Newcastle United, and Queens Park Rangers, has had multiple legal issues. He served time in prison in 2008 following an assault in Liverpool.

The legendary Colombian goalkeeper was known for his eccentric playing style and the famous 'Scorpion Kick'. Higuita was incarcerated in 1993 for his involvement in a kidnapping case, which significantly impacted his career.


Arsenal and England defender Tony Adams was sentenced to prison in 1990 for drink-driving. His incarceration led to a period of reflection, after which he returned to football and spoke openly about his struggles with alcoholism.

One of football's greatest talents, George Best faced numerous legal issues related to alcohol abuse. He was imprisoned in 1984 for drunk driving, assaulting a police officer, and failing to comply with a bail condition.


Duncan Ferguson, the former Everton and Scotland striker, served time in prison in the 1990s for an on-field assault against an opponent. This incident is one of the few times a footballer has been jailed for an act committed during a game.

Former Newcastle United striker Nile Ranger has had multiple run-ins with the law throughout his career. He was incarcerated in 2017 for online banking fraud, highlighting issues of discipline and conduct off the pitch.

The Danish midfielder, best known for his time at Liverpool, served a prison sentence in the early 1990s for reckless driving. Molby's case was notable due to his high profile as a Premier League footballer at the time.


Marlon King, who played for multiple English clubs, faced incarceration for sexual assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm in 2009. His career in England was deeply affected by his legal troubles.


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