Birthday to forget: Brazil icon Ronaldinho turns 40 while languishing in Paraguayan jail... and could be there for 6 more months
Former Brazil and Barcelona icon Ronaldinho turned 40 on Saturday, but it will likely be a birthday the World Cup winner wants to forget as he remains in a Paraguayan prison.
Ronaldinho and his brother are still behind bars in a maximum security facility on the outskirts of Asuncion after being arrested just over a fortnight ago for entering the country with fake passports.
The ex-Barca star was warned could face at least 6 more months in jail while the case is resolved, after he had an appeal to be moved to house arrest rejected by a local judge.Also on rt.com Ronaldinho DENIED release from maximum security Paraguay prison despite offering $800K property as guarantee
The Champions League winner - widely regarded as one of the most naturally-gifted players ever to grace the game - recently joined in a prison tournament with fellow inmates, netting five times.
But the famous playboy footballing star has seen any hopes of being free in time for his birthday extinguished as he and brother Roberto, 49, languish in their cells.
They were allegedly provided with the false documents to enter the country by a business manager, although it's unclear why they were used as Brazilians do not need passports to enter Paraguay.
The 2005 Ballon d'Or winner had arrived in the country to promote his book, Genius of Life, as well as carry out charity work.
It's not the first time the party-loving football legend has fallen foul of the law.
In recent years he has also faced legal issues with unpaid debts in his Brazilian homeland, with his passport being confiscated back in July 2019.Also on rt.com Three-way relationships, unpaid debts & ‘fake passport’ fiascos: Brazilian playboy Ronaldinho has never been far from scandal
But while Ronaldinho was left to while away his 40th birthday in a prison cell rather the nightspot of his choice, fans and organizations around the world at least marked the day by sharing clips of the brilliance he displayed so often during his glittering career.
🇧🇷 Happy birthday to Ronaldinho, the greatest entertainer to have ever graced a football pitch. The man who made so many people fall in love with football.Iconic. 👑 pic.twitter.com/FvoKXGfA1P— FutbolBible (@FutbolBible) March 21, 2020
Nobody else played the game like Ronaldinho ✨pic.twitter.com/3tFwHsDmUb— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 21, 2020
Ronaldinho; the man who put smiles on faces and bums on seats 🤩Barcelona's Brazilian legend turns 40 today 🕺🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/D6l019hCyn— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 21, 2020
Former club Barcelona, where he reached his greatest heights at club level, also unveiled a special YouTube tribute of all of his goals during his time at the Catalan giants.
Ronaldinho himself will be desperate to be elsewhere when his birthday celebrations come around this time next year.