Ronaldinho signs with Brazilian club Fluminense
SAO PAULO (AP) — Fluminense has signed former Brazil playmaker Ronaldinho until the end of 2016.
Saturday’s announcement came less than a month after Ronaldinho left Mexican club Queretaro, where he played only two tournaments. He had a year left in his contract but decided to leave after losing his spot in the starting lineup.
The 35-year-old Ronaldinho said he wants to try to win the Brazilian league, which is one of the few tournaments he still hasn’t won in his career.
“It was one of the things that motivated me to return to Brazil, to try to win a trophy that I still don’t have,” Ronaldinho said.
Official details of the deal with Fluminense were not immediately available, but local media said Ronaldinho will earn a monthly salary of about 600,000 reals ($190,000), plus bonuses from the sales or jerseys and other club products.
Several clubs reportedly showed interest in signing Ronaldinho after he left Mexico, including teams in Turkey and the United States. Brazilian clubs also said they negotiated with the playmaker, and Fluminense’s Rio de Janeiro rival Vasco da Gama recently announced that its deal with the midfielder was 90 percent completed.
“Fluminense was part of the 10 percent that kept other clubs from signing him,” Fluminense said in a statement on its website.
Ronaldinho will be officially introduced to fans before the July 19 match against Vasco da Gama at the Maracana Stadium, but he will only begin training on July 27.
Ronaldinho will join former Brazil striker Fred, who struggled in last year’s World Cup but remains one of Fluminense’s top players.
Fluminense will be Ronaldinho’s third team since he ended a successful career in Europe at clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and AC Milan. He played for Brazil’s popular club Flamengo in 2011, and a year later moved to Atletico Mineiro, which he led to its first Copa Libertadores title in 2013.
The two-time FIFA world player of the year helped Brazil win the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan and was in the team that was eliminated by France in the 2006 quarterfinals in Germany. He was not picked for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and also didn’t make it to the 2014 tournament at home.
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