Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, commonly known as Ronaldinho Gaúcho or simply Ronaldinho, have not had it easy of late, the prolific attacking midfielder that won FIFA best player of the year award in 2004 and 2005 and also the Ballon d’ Or in 2006 after leading Barcelona to champions league trophy in the same season after the clubs 14 years of waiting, has found himself in series of issues ranging from tax evasion to destroying government property and refusing to pay fines imposed by state law which led to confiscation of his Brazilian and Spanish passports by the authorities.
The attacking midfielder who also was deployed as a winger or forward is currently in a Paraguayan prison following his arrest and accusation of entering the nation with a false Paraguayan national passport, in which he has been kept in a correctional facility pending the full trial of the case or if his bail conditions are met.
Ronaldinho’s latest predicament has attracted global attention and of course sympathy from his fans and lovers of the game of soccer and of late there was this seemingly good news that his former team mate Lionel Messi has embarked on his rescue mission by authorizing team of lawyers to engage the issue and also willing to pay the conditional bail of four million Euros from his own pocket, this story which was credited to Peruvian newspaper Libero was greatly received by soccer lovers globally but the Argentine Maestro’s entourage has publicly stated that there is no such plans or arrangements from their principal Mr. Lionel Messi.
This latest development has left fans of the Brazilian legend disappointed as their hopes was lifted when the news of Messi’s willingness to help his former team mate came up and records has it that it was Ronaldinho that gave Messi the assist of his first Barcelona goal in a la liga game on 1st May 2005 against Albacete a club that was relegated same year to the Segunda division of Spanish league.
Pundits are speculating the reason for Lionel Messi’s about turn from assisting his former team mate , which seems not farfetched ,as even FC Barcelona the club he once played for had also recently reduced his role in the ambassadorial contract they have with him over his public support for the current Brazilian president whom is perceived to be homophobic and misogynist from his utterances which attracted condemnation from a sect of the Brazilian society.
In 2018 at the time of campaign for Brazilian presidential election that Ronaldinho and Rivaldo publicly supported “right winger’ Jair Bolsanaro, who won the election and became 38th president of Brazil on 1st January 2019 , Barcelona had described Bolsonaro’s views as ‘unacceptable’ and announced that they will be limiting the ambassadorial roles which both Ronaldinho and Rivaldo play at the Camp Nou. It is apparent that Barcelona is and all that is associated with the brand including Lionel Messi follows the guideline of the club and minimise their presence in any issue related to Ronaldinho over his friendship and endorsement of the Brazilian President Mr. Jair Bolsanaro.