After spending 5 months in detention in Paraguay, former Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho has finally been released. Ronaldinho along with his brother and business manager, Roberto de Assis Moreira were arrested by the authorities in Paraguay when they tried to enter the country with forged passports. Prosecutors said they believed Ronaldinho was unaware the passports were fake, but his sibling knew.
“The precautionary measure of arrest is lifted, there are no more restrictions placed by Paraguayan justice,” Judge Gustavo Amarilla said. He further stated, “He has no restrictions except for the fulfillment of reparations for damage to society.”
Former world-cup winner and his brother were initially held in jail for a month before paying $1.6m (£1.2m) bail. Ronaldinho and his brother spent one month behind bars and another four detained in a luxury hotel in the capital Asuncion on bail. Both have now been released, although they must pay $200,000 (£153,000) in damages between them. Ronaldinho and his brother would be required to appear before a judge in Brazil after every three months, Ronaldinho for a year and his brother for 2 years.
The brothers traveled to Paraguay to promote a campaign for underprivileged children. A couple of days later they were arrested after police discovered that they had fake documents. The investigation has expanded into a case of possible money laundering since their arrest.
The former ballon d’ or winner has had a remarkable career and is hailed as one of the finest players to grace the game. Ronaldinho was influential in Brazil’s 2002 world cup triumph and scored one of the greatest goals in world cup history against England in the quarter-final of the tournament. He represented top clubs such as A.C. Milan and Barcelona and helped Barcelona in winning the champions league. Ronaldinho last played club football for Brazilian club Fluminense in 2015. He announced his retirement in 2018.