The body of a Brazilian footballer was found ‘almost beheaded with his genitals severed’ in a bush on Saturday night, according to local reports.
Tributes have been paid to Sao Paulo star Daniel Correa Freitas, 24, who was discovered in Sao Jose dos Pinhais in Brazil’s southern state of Parana, by people walking through the city.
His club, who play in Serie A , the top flight of Brazilian soccer, confirmed his demise tweeting: ‘The Sao Paulo football club deeply regrets the death of midfielder Daniel Correa Freitas.’
Although the official cause of death has not been confirmed, local media reported that Freitas had been ‘tortured’. A police officer said: ‘From the appearance of the body, it was a very violent situation.
‘The man had two deep cuts on his neck, his head was nearly beheaded, and his genitals were severed.’
‘This road [where the body was found] is a bit deserted and already known for the spawning of corpses.
The police report concluded that the evidence from the case suggests that the man was murdered on the street and dragged for around 30 metres.
His club tweeted: ‘The Sao Paulo football club deeply regrets the death of midfielder Daniel Correa Freitas’
The attacking midfielder began his career with Botafogo, also a Serie A side, before moving to Sao Paulo three years ago.
However he has spent the past two years on loan, initially with second-division side Coritiba, before moving to Ponte Preta and then Sao Bento.
Freitas was playing for Sao Bento around the time of his death and they were among a string of clubs honouring the player.
A tweet read: ‘Note of regret: Botafogo regrets the demise of former player Daniel Correa Freitas and expresses solidarity with friends and family.’