Ruben Semedo makes Portugal debut against Spain – where he has five-year prison sentence

Olympiakos defender Ruben Semedo made his international debut for Portugal in Wednesday’s scoreless draw against Spain, with the opponents of particular irony for the player.

Back in July, Semedo was handed a five-year suspended prison sentence and banned from visiting Spain for the next eight years.

Wednesday night’s encounter was played in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, but Semedo would not have been allowed to compete had the game between switched to Spain.

The 26-year-old previously spent five months in prison in Spain – at the Picassent jail – after he was charged with multiple offences including robbery, assault, kidnapping and possession of a firearm, but he paid the €30k bail conditions to continue his football career.

Semedo signed for Villarreal from Sporting CP in the summer of 2017 but played just five games for the club and spent the 2018/19 campaign out on loan spells at Huesca and then Rio Ave, before joining Olympiakos permanently last year.

On 20 February 2018, Semedo was detained for supposedly tying up and assaulting a man in his home alongside two others, then proceeding to go to the victim’s house to rob the property.

The complainant alleges that he was locked in a room after being immobilised, while the accused stole his keys, broke into his apartment and carried out large scale theft, with gunshots also said to be involved to intimidate the individual.

The defender had then been suspended without pay by Villarreal and the club had been actively trying to sell him since, before his move to the Greek side last summer.

The Portugal international’s run-in with the law made headlines in Spain prior to this allegedly carrying a firearm at a nightclub in Valencia in November 2017 and smashing a man over the head with a glass bottle in separate incidents.

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