He calls it an accident but that was not how the court in Germany saw it in July of 2012. Nine months earlier, the luxury villa he rented in a suburb of Munich had burnt to the ground. A grave error, surely, but not unintentional, according to judge Rosi Datzman, who handed him a sentence of three years and nine months in prison. Prosecutors had pushed for more.
So it was that Breno, once viewed as one of the most promising young defenders in world football, arrived at his lowest ebb. A career that had promised so much – the Brazilian was snapped up by Bayern Munich while still in his teens and was seen as a future Seleção stalwart – lay in tatters, his name destined to become little more than a bizarre footnote or the answer to a pub quiz question.
Or so it appeared. For against all odds, Breno is working towards a footballing renaissance back in his homeland.
Read the rest of this piece over at ESPN FC.