Brazilian goalkeeper Bruno Fernandes de Souza has been sentenced to 22 years in jail for ordering the 2010 murder of estranged girlfriend Eliza Samudio.

The ex-Flamengo player was found guilty by a jury of five women and two men at a court in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais state on Friday.

He was also convicted of hiding the model’s body and kidnapping the couple’s son, local media reported.

Despite admitting to knowing that Samudio had been strangled and her remains fed to dogs, Fernandes denied ordering the assassination. Defence lawyers said they would appeal the decision.

Fernandes had already been convicted of kidnapping Samudio and forcing her to terminate her pregnancy, for which he had served a prison term of four years and six months.

“I expected more,” the victim’s mother Eliza Silva Samudio said. “They made it easy on him.”

The judge said Fernandes’ sentence was reduced due to his confession.The 28-year-old was captain of the Flamengo outfit that won the Brazil Serie A title in 2009 and was reportedly a contender for a berth in Brazil’s national team.

“These crimes received a lot of attention not only because one of the defendants was a famous football player, but also because of the plot that they involved, and because of the mystery of where the victim’s remains were hidden,” judge Marixa Fabiane Lopes Rodrigues said.