Former Real Madrid and Germany defender Christoph Metzelder was handed a suspended prison sentence of ten months after admitting to child pornography charges at a trial in Germany on Thursday.
The high-profile trial was set to run until May 10, but came to a conclusion in just one day after Metzelder acknowledged having shared graphic illicit images of minors online.
“I obtained incriminating pictures that were freely available on the internet (and) took screenshots,” Metzelder, 40, told a district court in the western city of Duesseldorf.
“I shared extreme fantasies in chats,” he said from the witness stand, in comments reported by AFP sports subsidiary SID.
Prosecutors say the 2002 World Cup finalist passed on 29 pornographic files to three women via WhatsApp, including one featuring a toddler in a “highly sexualised pose.”
Metzelder, who entered the courtroom in a grey suit jacket and a black coronavirus mask, had not personally addressed the charges against him in public.
He told presiding judge Astrid Stammerjohann that he had been interested in “transgressing limits”, not by the sexual images of children themselves, which in some instances depicted grievous molestation.