João Rodrigo Silva Santos didn’t come home Monday night.
When the former professional footballer’s wife opened the door on her way to work the next morning, she found his severed head on their front step.
The head was inside a backpack, police said. Santos’ eyes and tongue had been gouged out, according to Brazilian media reports.
Now police in Rio de Janeiro are investigating the grisly killing, though they haven’t said who they believe is behind it.
Santos, 35, was a forward for a number of mostly second-tier Rio de Janeiro football teams before retiring and opening a health foods store.
His death comes at a time when football fans worldwide are shifting their focus toward Brazil, which will host the World Cup in 2014.
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