Brazilian clubs shun Ronaldinho after contentious Flamengo exit
Sunday 03 June 2012
Ronaldinho's chances of continuing to play football in Brazil have diminished significantly following his high-profile departure from popular club Flamengo.
The 32-year-old terminated his contract and sued the club for $20m in unpaid salaries on Friday, sparking a host of top Brazilian teams to denounce any interest in signing him.
Ronaldinho has played below expectations and been criticised for unprofessional behaviour off the field for alleged appearances at parties and nightclubs.
This week he announced he wanted to take time off to look after his sick mother. On top of suing the club, he asked a judge to terminate his contract. Flamengo admitted difficulties paying for his high salaries after ending a partnership with sports marketing group Traffic, but they denied owing him $20m. The Flamengo president, Patricia Amorim, said: "We are extremely disappointed and I promise fans that we will fight until the end to defend the team's rights."
After a slow start at Flamengo after joining from Milan in 2010, Ronaldinho was instrumental in the club winning the Rio de Janeiro state championship in 2011. He then helped Flamengo earn a spot in this year's Copa Libertadores and regained a spot in the national team, but played poorly throughout the season.
Corinthians, Palmeiras and Gremio are among the clubs who have already said they have no interest in making a move for Ronaldinho. "You must be kidding me," The Gremio director Paulo Pelaipe said. "Thankfully he chose not to come to Gremio in 2010. Now he's Flamengo's problem."
Sources close to Ronaldinho say he has received offers from clubs in China, while the Spanish press has indicated that Malaga may be keen.
The Santos coach Muricy Ramalho defended Ronaldinho by saying he should remain an idol for Brazilian fans, while World Cup winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, now with Palmeiras, said he would still want the player on his squad, although finances made that impossible.
Latest in Sport
Frank Lampard was RIGHT not to celebrate Manchester City's equaliser against Chelsea
All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Five reasons why Louis van Gaal is a worse Manchester United manager than David Moyes
Sam Wallace: Louis Van Gaal struggled at start of Bayern’s Double-winning season, but United’s problems run deeper and this league is less forgiving
- 1 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install the update
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 5 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God