Russian 'bad boy' Kokorin joins Fiorentina

Rome (AFP) –


Fiorentina on Wednesday announced the signing of Russian international striker Aleksandr Kokorin on a permanent deal from Spartak Moscow, just a year-and-a-half since he was released from prison.

The 29-year-old was found guilty of assaulting a Russian government official in 2018, alongside then-Krasnodar midfielder Pavel Mamayev.

"What I did in Russia was a mistake that I paid for dearly," Kokorin told the Fiorentina website.

"On being a bad boy, I can say that I closed a chapter in Russia, and open a new one here. I can be a bad boy on the pitch, not off the pitch."

When he was released on parole in September 2019, Kokorin signed a one-year contract extension with Zenit Saint-Petersburg before a spell on loan at Sochi.

He joined Spartak last August but struggled to nail down a regular starting spot, scoring two goals in 10 appearances.