Dhaka, 17 Jan, Abnews: Legendary Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho has officially retired from football, the player’s brother and agent Roberto Assis has confirmed.
The 37-year-old hasn’t played professionally since leaving Brazilian side Fluminense in 2015.
Last month, Ronaldinho announced his intention to retire at some point in 2018, saying, “I think I’m saying goodbye to football next year, officially.”
Plans are already underway for a farewell schedule of games.
“He’s quit football, it’s over,” Assis told O Globo. “Let’s now do something nice [his farewell], big as it should [be], after the Russia World Cup, maybe in August.
“We’ll do some events now around Brazil, Europe and Asia. Of course, we’re also arranging something with the Brazil national team as well.
“Nike [Ronaldinho’s long-time sponsors] will be with us together on this project, there are no details yet.
“For now we’re arranging a programme, a schedule. The fact he’s been Barcelona’s ambassador for 10 years now will help a lot abroad. He’s held in the highest regard there.
“There are now three arranged events – Mexico will be the next one, on March 1.”
Ronaldinho was capped 97 times by Brazil, scoring 33 goals – including two en route to World Cup glory in Japan and South Korea in 2002.
He joined Paris Saint-Germain from Gremio to begin his European career, which flourished spectacularly at Barcelona between 2003 and 2008.
Ronaldinho inspired back-to-back La Liga triumphs in 2004-05 and 2005-06, also winning the Champions League in the latter season.
He was at the peak of his powers as he claimed the Ballon d’Or in 2005; less so during a three-year stay with AC Milan, although he did feature in all-star line-ups alongside the likes of Paolo Maldini, Kaka and David Beckham.
Ronaldinho left San Siro midway through the Serie A title-winning 2010-11 season and returned to his homeland with Flamengo. He also experienced stints at Atletico Mineiro and in Mexico with Queretaro. – Goal.com