Berlin: Jailed former Bayern Munich defender Breno will start work as a youth coach at the treble winners as he serves out his sentence for arson with daily part-time work outside prison, the club and the player said on Monday.
The tall 23-year-old Brazilian, once regarded as a huge defensive talent before a string of injuries and a 2012 jail sentence of three years and nine months for burning down his rented Munich villa, cut his Bundesliga career short.
“This time spent in prison, these 13 months, have been hard,” Breno, who said had stayed relatively fit in prison, told a news conference, sitting next to club president Uli Hoeness.
“I have changed as a person and I have learned a lot in there. I am happy to be given this chance by Bayern. It means I can train again and maybe play again later on — that’s my dream.”
Breno will work five-hour-a-day as an assistant coach to the under-23 team and return to prison each afternoon.
“My wife and my kids were behind me the whole time. I’ve thought a lot about God, and without God there’s not much.”
Breno will be picked up daily from prison at 0830 local time and after four hours of training with Bayern will be returned to prison by 1330.
His lawyer is hoping Breno will be released on probation in January at which point he will be deported back to Brazil.
Having kept himself fit, Breno will work alongside the under-23 team’s head coach coach Erik ten Hag, but as a non-EU citizen he is not allowed to play for the junior side.
“Breno is a member of the big Bayern family, who once had problems,” said Hoeness, who himself is facing charges of tax evasion and could stand trial. “Now there is a glimmer of hope and we want to give it to him,” said Hoeness.
He had joined the Bavarians from Sao Paolo as a teenager in 2008 but failed to grab a starting spot.
A brief loan spell at Nuremberg in 2010 was cut short by a serious ligament injury before returning to Bayern. The former Brazil under-23 player was arrested in 2011 after his rented luxury home went up in flames with him at home recovering from injury. He was later convicted of arson.
His family was not at home at the time and there were no injuries. Brazil coach Luis Felipe Scolari had called on the Munich authorities to release Breno to allow him to continue his career in his home country.
“I would like to ask that they consider whether the boy deserves a second chance,” Scolari said.
“Sometimes we make mistakes, and when we’ve served our time, it can already be too late. We would be very grateful if the people responsible in Germany would hear our plea because it is a plea from all of Brazil. If he were allowed to return to Brazil and play football again, then that would be a new start for him,” Scolari said.