From World Cup Champion to Prison Inmate – What Happened to Ronaldinho?


Ronaldinho is a former Brazilian soccer player who is widely regarded as one of the best players of his generation. Born Ronaldo de Assis Moreira in 1980, Ronaldinho was just a child when he lost his father to a swimming pool accident. Despite this tragedy, he remained focused on soccer and began honing his skills at a young age. He played for various youth teams in Brazil before making his professional debut with the Brazilian club Grêmio in 1998.

In 2002, Ronaldinho’s career took off when he signed with Paris Saint-Germain in the French league. He quickly became one of the team’s star players and helped lead them to the top of the league. In 2003, he was named the FIFA World Player of the Year, cementing his place as one of the best players in the world.


Ronaldinho’s talent and success on the field earned him a move to Barcelona in 2003, where he played for five seasons and helped lead the team to numerous victories, including two La Liga titles and the UEFA Champions League. In total, he played 207 games for Barcelona, scoring 94 goals, and won a total of five titles. He was also a key player for the Brazilian national team and helped lead them to a World Cup victory in 2002.

Despite his impressive on-field accomplishments, Ronaldinho’s personal life was often overshadowed by his party lifestyle and addiction to alcohol. He was known for his love of nightlife and often found himself in the tabloids due to his wild behavior. This ultimately took a toll on his career and led to a decline in his performance on the field.

Ronaldinho and his brother, Roberto, were convicted of illegal construction in February 2015 and ordered to pay a sum equivalent to £1.7m.

Along with company Reno Constructions and Incorporations Ltd., they were found to have built a sugar mill with a fishing platform and a pier in a permanent preservation area on Lake Guaíba without permission.

After defaulting on the payments and proving difficult to track down, Ronaldinho and his brother were taken to court again, and the public prosecutor said that an investigation into their bank accounts revealed a balance of about £5.

In March 6th 2020, he was arrested in Paraguay along with his brother Roberto de Assis Moreira for using fake passports. The brothers were detained in the country’s maximum security Agrupacion Especializada prison for 171 days and initially sentenced to six months in prison. After agreeing to pay a bail of 1 million Brazilian Real (about £140,566), Ronaldinho spent an additional 32 days under house arrest before being released.

There were reports that Ronaldinho was “on the verge of bankruptcy” and had lost a significant amount of weight while in prison. However, after his release, he was able to turn his life around and make a comeback. He remained Brazil’s tourism ambassador and personally met with President Jair Bolsonaro. In the four months following his release from prison, Ronaldinho reportedly earned more than 5 million Brazilian Real (about £702,407) through various business ventures.

Despite the challenges he faced, Ronaldinho remains a beloved figure in the world of soccer and is remembered as one of the most talented and entertaining players of all time. His father’s untimely death at a young age was just one of the many struggles that Ronaldinho had to overcome throughout his life and career. However, he was able to use his talent and determination to rise to the top of the soccer world and become a champion both on and off the field.

Gerald Omondi
Gerald Omondi
As a writer, I have a passion for exploring a variety of topics. When I'm not putting pen to paper, I enjoy traveling and spending time with my family. As a husband and father, I understand the importance of balance and finding time for the things I love. Whether I'm delving into new subjects or spending quality time with my loved ones.


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