By Muambo Edward
Football Writer, kick442.com-Cameroon
Former PGS and FC Barcelona football maestro Ronaldo de Aziz Morieira popularly know as Ronaldinho Gaucho has been in incarceration in Paraguay since he was arrested in the South American country in March.
The 2005 Ballon d’Or winner and FIFA Player of the Year was acclaimed by many for his breathtaking football skills for both clubs and country.
But the 2002 Brazil FIFA World Cup winner who attained the summits of football in terms of accolades and earnings has since falling from grace to grass.
Ronaldinho is currently detained in Paraguay’s maximum security Agrupacion Especializada prison. He is currently detained for alleged use of fake Paraguayan passport.
Ronaldinho and his brother Roberto were both arrested in Asunción, Paraguay’s capital city in the beginning of March before they were both imprisoned.
“The Attorney General’s office issued a warrant for their arrest, charged the player Ronaldinho with using a public document with false content, and requested preventive detention,” a statement from Paraguay’s Ministry of Interior explained.
The former Milan AC playmaker’s Brazilian and Spanish passports had been seized by Brazilian authorities in 2019 as a result of other legal issues. The Brazilian claimed that the Paraguayan passport he was using was given to him as a gift by a local sponsor.
He claims that he was not aware of the wrongdoing but admits that he made an innocent mistake.
Ronaldinho’s legal team re-echoed that same argument and in an attempt to free him even labeled him “an idiot”.
Their argument has failed to convince the Paraguayan authorities which explains why the Brazilian and his brother have remained behind closed bars.
Though put in a different part of the high security facility, the former football great is now far away from the glamorous surroundings that he was used to in France, Spain and Italy and is rather sharing the same facility with high level criminals.
The Paraguayan Minister of Interior, Euclides Acevedo has insisted that they have tried to make his stay in the prison as comfortable as possible, describing where he has been put in the prison as “almost a hotel”. However he is in a maximum security prison and shares the yard with the rest.
The football “juju” has lost his freedom and can only share a conversation with hardened criminals, if he choses to have one.
According to former Paraguayan international Nelson Cuevas, his friend has “lost” his smile.
“Ronaldinho is not happy at all,” Cuevas told CNN Radio. “What distinguishes him is his smile, his good energy, his way of being but today, due to the situation he is going through, that smile is lost because he is in prison which is a place he is not accustomed to.”
Reports suggest that the former Brazil international might spend up to six months in prison, though it’s not clear for now, when he will be released from the maximum security facility.
A bail application was rejected for the player as the Paraguayan authorities consider him a flight risk. He might stay behind bars till September 2020, depending on how the prosecution unfolds.
Nelson Cuevas even offered to host him in his house in what will be a house arrest while the case goes on, but his demand was equally rejected.
The Brazilian is taking joy in what he does best, football, by taking part in football tournaments in prison and as expected he has been the standout player.
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