Ronaldinho, the football legend, reportedly only has £5 in the bank according to Brazilian authorities.
Now, if I were to tell any of my mates that I only had a fiver in the bank, I can promise you it wouldn’t be a surprise in any way. But for a World Cup and Champions League winner, who played for teams such as Barcelona and AC Milan, it’s slightly more shocking.
This predicament is reportedly due to Ronaldinho having unpaid debts £1.75 million, which have been accumulating since 2015.
As reported by Marca, a judge in Brazil has ordered the seizure of Ronaldinho’s passport because of the extent of his unpaid debts.
The former footballer and his brother Roberto Assis were initially fined because of the illegal construction they had carried out in a protected area.
In 2015, the pair were ordered to demolish the works done in the protected area of Porto Alegre. They were also ordered to pay a fine of R $800,000 (approximately £162,850).
Ronaldinho and his brother reportedly remortgaged their property in order to pay off their debts, but have been unable to do so due to the high interest that has accumulated over the past three years.
According to UOL Sports, at the time of sentencing Judge Fernanda Carravetta Vilande commented on the brothers’ disregard for their punishment.
[There was] contempt for the law and public officials and even for the judicial command issued (the defendants simply ignored the anticipatory order, even having filed a defense or justification of any kind).
Brazilian authorities have reportedly not been pleased with Ronaldinho’s behaviour since he was fined three years ago, with UOL Sports reporting that Judge Newton Fabrício said him and his brother ‘have long been evading compliance with their legal obligations’.
Subsequently, the fine has increased to R $8.5 million (approximately £1.75 million) – due to a daily fine of R $100,000 in case of non compliance of the term – and both men’s passports have been seized.
Upon inspection, authorities found less than six euros (£5.24) in Ronaldinho’s bank account according to Spanish publication Marca.
It has been noted that despite his increasing debt, the former professional footballer has still been living a luxurious lifestyle.
Ronaldinho officially retired from playing football earlier this year, and since then has been travelling around the world for advertising reasons.
Africa, Switzerland, Peru, and Russia are just a few of the places he has visited in recent months, according to his Instagram page.
Part of the reason for his travelling is the fact that he is sponsored by Nike, who launched a campaign titled ‘Play Free’, inspired by his words in The Players’ Tribune.
This lavish lifestyle is one of the reasons the judge is unwilling to budge, in particular because, according to Marca, the Nike campaign should bring him significant income.
The seizure of his passport is likely to complicate his lifestyle and his business, as he is often travelling abroad for work and sponsorship deals.
Later this month on November 17, Ronaldinho is due to participate in the ‘Game of Champions’ – a friendly match which is taking place in Frankfurt, Germany.
It is unknown whether he will still be attending.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).