Ronaldo de Assis Moreira popularly known as Ronaldinho is a retired Brazilian footballer who played professional football from 1998 to 2015. Ronaldinho who is currently an ambassador for ex-club, Barcelona, is one of the outstanding footballers Brazil has produced. Following Pele and Ronaldo, Ronaldinho was seen as the wonderboy who will relive the glory days of the two Brazilian football legends. In this article on Ronaldinho biography facts, childhood, personal life and net worth, we present an in-depth review of the profile and life of the football legend from childhood to present.
At the height of his very successful career, Ronaldinho emerged as the best footballer in the world, while claiming several trophies. His wonderful career and amazing football skills inspired the current generation of football players. One in particular who was greatly influenced by the exploits of Ronaldinho on the pitch, is 6-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi who at the very start of his career played with Ronaldinho when the latter was a player for Barcelona. Those days of playing with the best player in the world as at then greatly helped shaped Messi’s abilities.
Ronaldinho Biography Facts, Age, Nicknames
- Full Name: Ronaldo de Assis Moreira
- Nicknames: Ronaldinho Gaúcho, Nibbler, Ronaldinho, Dinho
- Date of Birth: 21 March 1980
- Age: 41 years old
- Place of Birth: Porto Alegre, Brazil
- Nationality: Brazilian
- Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.81 m)
- Weight: 80 kg
- Father: João de Assis Moreira
- Mother: Dona Miguelina Elói Assis dos Santos
- Siblings: Roberto de Assis Moreira (brother), Deisi de Assis Moreira(sister)
- Children: João de Assis Moreira (son)
- Net Worth: $100 million
- Zodiac sign: Aries
Ronaldinho Childhood/Early Life & Family Background
Ronaldo de Assis Moreira was born on 21 March 1980 in Porto Alegre into a poor family. His father worked as a shipyard worker and also played football for a local club, Esporte Clube Cruzeiro, while his mother formerly was a salesperson but later became a nurse after studying to reach her goal.
Ronaldinho’s family is deeply rooted in football — aside from his father, his elder brother, Roberto de Assis Moreira, played football. Following his brother signing with a professional football club in Brazil, Grêmio, the club provided a good home for his family in an affluent area of Porto Alegre. The home was a gift to Ronaldinho’s family, in a bid to convince Roberto to stay with the club.
When he turned eight, Ronaldinho’s skill began to improve, but shortly, his father died after hitting his head and drowning in a swimming pool in the home given to them by Grêmio. Though affected by his father’s death, Ronaldinho continued to play football. Ronaldinho whose real name is Ronaldo was given the name Ronaldinho as he was the smallest and youngest in the youth team he played for. The term ‘inho’ translated to small.
He began by playing futsal before going on to beach soccer. Most of the skills he possesses such as the ball control skill, he learnt them while playing futsal. At the age of 13, Ronaldinho came into the radar of the media after he scored all 23 goals in a game with a local club which ended in 23-nil. Following his amazing performance at the 1997 U-17 World Championship, he established himself as a young star.
Ronaldo admired Diego Maradona, Ronaldo, Romario, Rivelino and Rivaldo while growing up.
Ronaldinho Football Career, Accomplishments & Awards
After spending years playing for Grêmio youth team, Ronaldinho played for Grêmio senior team for the first time in the 1998 Copa Libertadores. In 1999, 18 years old Ronaldinho achieved further fame after he dribbled Dunga, the Brazilian captain at the 1994 World Cup which Brazil won. The dribble was embarrassing as Dunga was left flat-footed. He thus won the Rio Grande do Sul State Championship as well as the first edition of the Copa Sul-Minas with Grêmio. Ronaldinho was subject to interest from Arsenal, but the move fell through following work permit issues.
Paris Saint-Germain (2001–2003)
In 2001, Ronaldinho moved to PSG for €5 million. Ronaldinho was given the #21 jersey. In his first season at PSG, Ronaldinho was in amazing form, scoring several goals and led PSG to the Coupe de la Ligue semifinals. His success in the club wasn’t enough for the manager, Luis Fernández, who complained that Ronaldinho was focused on Paris nightlife and never return to the club early enough after his scheduled holidays.
But despite the complains, Ronaldinho returned to PSG for his second season and was given the #10 jersey. He went on to score the goal of the season chosen by fans and led the side to the Coupe de France final where they lost to Auxerre. But Ronaldinho’s top form was not sufficient for PSG as they finished in 11th place in the league and did not qualify for any European tournament which led to Ronaldinho declaring his intention to leave the club.
Ronaldinho moved to Barcelona for €30 million. Following his arrival at Barcelona, the club beat Real Madrid for the first time in seven years at the Santiago Bernabeu and also finished second in the league. Following his 2004/05 La Liga win, Ronaldinho was awarded World Best Player award.
In the 2005/06 season, he led Barcelona to their first Champions League win in 14 years and also a second successive La Liga win. He was thus awarded the FIFPro World Player of the Year, World Best Player of the Year, European Footballer of the Year as well as the Ballon d’Or awards. He also was awarded the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year and Laureus World Sportsman of the Year. Following a spectacular 2005/06, he played for two more seasons for Barcelona where he recorded astounding results before he left to A.C. Milan.
A.C. Milan (2008–2011)
Ronaldinho agreed to a €22.05 million per season deal for three years with AC Milan after turning down an offer from Manchester City. Following his arrival at the club, he was given the #80 jersey. He started out for the club in good form, but his form began to decline as the season ended. His decline in form was said to be as a result of his interest in nightlife as well as lack of dedication in training. He started his second season slowly but regained form afterwards and ended the season top of the assist charts in the Serie A. Ronaldinho left Milan half-season in the 2010/11 season after he scored a goal in 16 appearances. Milan won the Serie A, and even though he left the club way after they won the league, he was eligible for a medal.
After it was obvious Ronaldinho will be transferred from Milan as news emerged that he may move to former club, Grêmio, or LA Galaxy, Corinthians, Blackburn Rovers or Palmeiras. But he moved to Flamengo and 20,000 fans attending his unveiling ceremony. Ronaldinho proved to be a very integral player in the Flamengo team as he helped the club win the Taça Guanabara, the Campeonato Carioca and the Taça Rio titles. Despite this success, about a year after his contract with Flamengo, he sued the club over unpaid 4 months salary.
Atlético Mineiro (2012–2014)
He moved to Atlético Mineiro after his stint at Flamengo. At Atlético Mineiro, he signed a six-month contract with the club. Ronaldinho helped the club finish second in the 2012 Brasileirão and was awarded the best player of the league award, the Bola de Ouro. The following years, he won the Campeonato Mineiro and the club’s first Copa Libertadores titles. He was thus awarded the 2013 South American Footballer of the Year. Ronaldinho also played at the 2013 Club World Cup but lost out in the semifinals. His last trophy won at Mineiro was the Recopa Sudamericanain 2014, after which he left the club by mutual agreement.
Following his move from Mineiro, Ronaldinho received several offers from various teams across the world but chose to play for Querétaro, a Mexican team. In April 2015, in a game against the Liga MX defending champion, América, he scored a goal which brought him to tears as he was given a standing ovation by the entire fans, a second time, this had occurred in his career. In June 2015, he announced he’ll be leaving the club.
In July 2015, he signed an 18 months deal with Brazilian club, Fluminense. But after failing to impress which sparked criticism from fans, he terminated his contract with the club via mutual agreement.
Following that, he went on to play Futsal in Indian Premier Futsal League Goa 5 along with other football greats such as Ryan Giggs, Hernán Crespo and Paul Scholes.
In January 2018, he declared his intention to retire from football.
Ronaldinho International Career
Ronaldinho began his international career by playing in the 1997 FIFA U-17 World Championship where he won the Bronze award. He also played in the 1999 South American Youth Championship. After playing at 1999 Copa America, he was invited to the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup where he was awarded the Golden boot for emerging the tournament top scorer.
At the 2002 World Cup, Ronaldinho won his first World Cup title with childhood idols, Ronaldo and Rivaldo. After failing to win the 2003 Confederation Cup, he captained Brazil to its second Confederations Cup win in 2005. His hope of a second World Cup title was destroyed following a quarterfinal loss to France in the 2008 Olympics, Ronaldinho was one of Brazil’s average players who led the team to win Gold at the quadrennial event. Prior to his retirement from international football, he was not called to play at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.
Ronaldinho Personal Life & Legal Troubles
Ronaldinho’s brother, Roberto acts as his manager while his sister, Deisy, handles his press affairs. Ronaldinho married Brazilian dancer, Janaína Mendes, in February 2005, who gave birth to a son named after his late father, João de Assis Moreira. He also married a second wife, Priscila Coelho, who left her studies to live with him. She sued him for one third of his earnings between 2012 to 2018.
Ronaldinho has enjoyed lucrative sponsorship and endorsement deals with top brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Gatorade, EA Sports and many more. But despite this, following an investigation over unpaid taxes, a search was conducted into his bank account and a balance of £5 was found. A court order then led to the seizure of 57 properties belonging to him. Creditors also filed a £2,000,000 suit against him.
In March 2018, he became a member of the Brazilian Republican Party. In the 2018 Brazil presidential election, he endorsed Jair Bolsonaro.
In March 2020, Ronaldinho was caught trying to get into Paraguay without a visa and was remanded in prison where he and his prison’s futsal team progressed to victory in the futsal prison tournament. Despite his legal troubles, Ronaldinho still carries a carefree personality.
Ronaldinho Net Worth & Endorsements
As of 2020, Ronaldinho’s net worth is reportedly valued at $100 million. Ronaldinho has enjoyed lucrative sponsorship and endorsement deals with top brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Gatorade, EA Sports and many more. Ronaldinho reportedly charges around £150,000 for an Instagram post.
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