World of Sport

Drug dealer becomes professional footballer

World of Sport

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Maxim Molokoedov /

When Russian Maxim Molokoedov was caught smuggling cocaine into Chile he could not have thought it would lead to a new career as a professional footballer.

However, that is exactly what happened in amazing bad-guy-does-good story that is sure to have Hollywood scriptwriters calling.

Back in 2010 Molokoedov was arrested at Santiago airport carrying six kilos of cocaine and was sent to prison for three years for drug trafficking.

While in prison he started playing football with the inmates and there he was spotted by former player Frank Lobos who played for South American giants like Colo Colo and Vasco da Gama.

Lobos visited the prison as part of a program to help inmates, and on his recommendation, second division club Santiago Morning decided to offer Molokoedov a contract while still in prison.

He was let out to play and train on day release and now has been released to join up with the team full time.

The 25-year-old, who had never been anywhere in Chile other than the airport and prison before linking up with the football club, now plans to stay in the country after being granted permission.

"I'm still in Chile because I have a one-year contract. I'm going to play hard and hopefully the team can rise to the first division," he said.

"I just want to play football. I speak every day with my family on Skype, but I will not return. I like playing football and that's what motivates me. Now I have a real chance to do it here, so I want to stay."

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