Brazilian goalkeeper Bruno Fernandes has made a return to professional football almost six years after being found guilty of his involvement in the murder of an ex-girlfriend. Fernandes was given a warm reception by the fans of his new club Pocos de Caldas when he made a second-half appearance during a friendly match as a substitute on Saturday.

Bruno was convicted for his role in the murder of Eliza Samudio, a part-time model who made paternity claims after giving birth to a baby boy which she claimed was that of the former Flamengo custodian.

The 34-year-old admitted in court that his friend killed Samudio before feeding parts of her body to dogs in a shocking revelation. He was initially given a 22-year sentence which was reduced to 20 years and nine months but has now been allowed to travel as part of a part-release scheme.

“When people here in Pocos de Caldas get to know the real Bruno, the human being that he is, then a lot of minds will be changed,” news agency Reuters quoted Bruno as saying.

He can travel in the day but will have to return to Varginha in the night.

This is not the first time the footballer attempted a comeback to the game. In 2017, his aim at returning was blocked following appeals against his part-time release scheme. He had signed a two-season contract with Boa Esporte.

Bruno refused to answer queries related to the charges but said he hopes to play till 40.