Ronaldinho Terminates His Contract With Atletico Mineiro
Former PSG, Barcelona and AC Milan attacking midfielder Ronaldinho has terminated his contract with Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro.
The former Ballon d’Or winner left European soccer in 2010 to return to his South American roots. It was initially believed that he would sign with his boyhood club Gremio, but Ronaldinho disappointed his former side by signing with Flamengo.
He spent the 2011-12 season with the Brazilian Serie A side making 33 appearances and scoring fifteen goals.
Following that season, Ronaldinho stunned Brazilian fans again by moving to Atletico Mineiro in June 2012. While there he helped the club finish in second place, qualify for the 2013 Copa Libertadores and was awarded the Brazilian Golden Ball award for his performances in the Brasileirao.
Last season, he was named South American Footballer of the Year despite being injured for the majority of the second half of the season. Ronaldinho helped the club win the Campeonato Mineiro and guided the Brazilian side to its first ever Copa Libertadores title.
Roberto de Assis, Ronaldinho’s agent and brother, commented on the 34-year-old player and his future destination: “He will play until his is 42. He will reveal his future destination on Wednesday.”
Reports in England and Italy are saying that Ronaldinho has offers from Premier League and Serie A clubs, but speculation is the player will be heading to Boca Juniors to replace the departed Juan Roman Riquelme who moved to Argentinos Juniors.
Atletico Mineiro manager Levir Culpi expressed his disappointment regarding Ronaldinho’s decision.
He told SporTV (Brazil’s most watched sports channel): “I can’t call on Ronaldinho anymore. His cycle with us has ended. It’s unfortunate because he’s an idol to all of us. Everyone loves his football, the way he plays and he’s a very charismatic person.”
“But that’s the way it goes. He’s leaving and we must move on without him.”