Joao Rodigo Silva Santos' head was left, in his backpack, on the doorstep of his Rio de Janeiro home Tuesday. The headless body was found in the trunk of a car Wednesday, the Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported.
Silva Santos' wife, Geisha Silva, a Rio de Janeiro police social worker, said he had gone to a health food store he owned and had not come back home, ESPN reported.
Brazils' G1 Globo said the eyes and tongue had been cut out of the head.
Police said they suspect drug traffickers killed Silva Santos, 35, who played for Bangu, Olimpia, Nacional and Swedish club Oster.
The police unit in which Geisha Silva works has been conducting a crackdown on drug gangs in preparation for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, ESPN said.