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24th Mar 2020

This is how Ronaldinho ended up in a Paraguayan jail

Simon Lloyd

He will go down as one of Barcelona’s greats

Ronaldinho was during his peak years one of the greatest footballers to ever take to a field. At Barcelona he wowed crowds week-in, week-out – in the years before they became accustomed to such treats in the form of Lionel Messi.

The Brazilian maestro is famously (or infamously) a fan of partying, and it would be this – and the negative influence it reported to have had on young Leo – that eventually led to his exit from Camp Nou. While he would impress at times for AC Milan, he failed to return to the heights of his Barca days, and his retirement has been one filled with ambassadorial roles and, at times, controversial political endorsements.

This year saw the clearest and saddest sign yet of his fall from glory, when he was arrested alongside his brother attempting to enter Paraguay with fake passports. He now sits in a Paraguayan prison, playing football against other inmates.

We spoke to Ralph Hannah, a journalist based in the country, who explained what is really going on in the weird world of Ronaldinho.