SAO PAOULO: Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldinho has formally confirmed his retirement from football, more than two years since his last appearance as a professional, reports in Brazil said Tuesday. The 37-year-old former Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona star, a key member of the Brazil side which won the World Cup in 2002, last played in 2015 during a brief stint with Fluminense.
However his brother and agent Roberto Assis said he would not play again and would now concentrate on tribute events. “He stopped, we’re going to do something really big, nice, after the World Cup in Russia, probably in August, we’ll do several events in Brazil, Europe and Asia, and of course, we’re watching a game with the Brazilian team,” Assis said.
Ronaldinho’s career began with Gremio in Porto Alegre, his hometown, before he emerged as a star with French giants PSG. He then spent five years with Barcelona between 2003 and 2008, helping the Catalans win the Champions League in 2006, after being awarded the Ballon D’Or in 2005. He spent three more seasons in Europe with AC Milan between 2008 and 2011 before returning to Brazil, where he played with Flamengo and Atletico Mineiro. A season in Mexico with Queretaro was followed by his return to Brazil and Fluminense, for whom he played seven times before cutting short his contract. For Brazil, Ronaldinho made 97 appearances, scoring 33 goals, including two in the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea. — AFP