Former Brazil, PSG and Barca wonder boy Ronaldo de Assis Moreira popularly known as Ronaldinho Gaúcho, has been ravaged by crippling debts and denied the right to leave Brazil.
The player owes 2 million Euros, has had 57 of his properties seized by the authorities and his Brazilian and Spanish passports revoked to prevent him from leaving the country until his creditors are paid.
The extravagant player had mismanaged his finances since retiring from football.
Ronaldinho was one of the best paid players in the world and is arguably the most technically gifted player that has ever played the game.
He won almost every honour in football, with his country and notably with Barcelona including numerous prestigious individual awards like the FIFA Player of the Year or the Ballon D’Or Mondial awarded by Francefootball Magazine.
Unfortunately he failed woefully in the management of his finances and accumulated huge debts which have spiraled out of control.
According to el Folha de São Paulo, from the 57 properties owned by the former great number 10, that have been seized by authorities, four of them are for a 2.2 million Euro fine for breaching environmental regulations. Added to that he has another debt of 1.8 million Euros.
The retired player’s lawyers have protested against the confiscation of his Spanish passport and demanded that it should be returned to him with the argument that the confiscation represents “an unwarranted, abusive attitude,” and are prepared to take the case to the Spanish judicial authorities to demonstrate that the Brazilian law enforcers have “acted illegally.”
The 39 year old native of Porto Alegre played 441 league games for Grêmio Porto Alegre, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, AC Milan, Flamengo, Atlético Mineiro, Queretaro and Fluminense between 1998 to 2015, scoring 167 goals.
After representing Brazil at the U-17, U-20 and U-23 levels, he went on to make 97 appearances with the senior national team and scored 33 goals.
He won the FIFA World Cup, FIFA Confederations Cup, and the Copa América with the senior national team of Brazil and won the FIFA World Cup with the U-17s.
At Club level he won the UEFA Champions League, Spanish La Liga, the Spanish Super Cup, the Italian Serie A title, the Copa Libertadores, the Copa Sudamericana and a huge collection of individual awards including the FIFA Player of the Year, the Ballon D’Or and Onze D’Or trophies.
The football world is watching with keen interest as this drama unfolds to see what will eventually happen to this great legend and servant of the beautiful game.