Once one of the world’s best athletes who could do things on a football field that defied belief, now his life has spiralled out of control.
Once one of the world’s best athletes who could do things on a football field that defied belief, now his life has spiralled out of control.

Sad downfall of $137m star who had it all

Ronaldinho was one of football's modern day geniuses.

The Brazilian forward, still only 39, won two FIFA World Player of the Year Awards, as well as a Ballon d'Or for the world's best player, at the peak of his powers.

His flawless technique, tricks, feints and no-look passes graced the Nou Camp in the five years he starred at Spanish giants Barcelona, The Sun reports.

But, after officially retiring from the game in 2018 following years of battling with his fitness, the icon's life has spiralled out of control.

From bigamy claims to being millions of dollars in debt to having his property seized, Ronaldinho has suffered a sad demise.

And now, he's being probed for entering Paraguay with a fake passport.

RONALDINHO DENIES SCANDALOUS MARRIAGE CLAIMS

Over the years, Ronaldinho has had no problems attracting beautiful women.

In 2018, he was forced to deny claims that he was to marry two women at the same time.

Brazilian newspaper O Dia sensationally revealed Ronaldinho was due to wed his two girlfriends Beatriz Souza and Priscilla Coelho.

It was said that he had gifted the women engagement rings, and the ceremony would take place at his $10 million mansion in Rio de Janeiro.

Bigamy is illegal in Brazil, and can carry a six-year jail sentence. But Ronaldinho said the report simply wasn't true.

"The whole world is calling me. I'm not going to get married," he told reporters.

"It's the biggest lie," he added to Brazilian station Globo.

MESSY SPLIT AS EX TARGETS $137M FORTUNE

Ronaldinho in full flight was something special.
Ronaldinho in full flight was something special.

Soon after the expose, Ronaldinho split with Coelho after six years together, and she launched a lawsuit for a share of his $137 million fortune.

Her mum, Maria Aldenice dos Santos, then spoke out about her daughter's three-way relationship.

"He had his bedroom for him and Priscilla, and another bedroom for him and Beatriz," she said.

"They would never be together in the same bed. One day would be Priscilla's and the next day Beatriz's.

"He gave both of them the same amount of spending money every month and he would give them exactly the same gifts. He once gave both a Rolex watch."

Maria said that Coelho had had enough by the end of 2018, and walked away from Ronaldinho after a huge fight.

Maria said: "She said Ronaldinho had started going out partying on his own, spending nights away and leaving her alone at home.

"Then she found messages between Ronaldinho and other women on his mobile. Beatriz wasn't at home, she'd gone to spend Christmas in London.

"She confronted him but he didn't want to talk. He went to his car and she followed him, telling him he couldn't just go without talking.

"She spent three days locked in her bedroom, without eating, trying to speak to him and waiting for him to come back.

"Then she decided this couldn't go on, packed her suitcases and drove home."

CARS AND ART SEIZED

In 2018, with his financial woes at an all-time low, prosecutors raided Ronaldinho's home to secure assets, including his car collection and an expensive painting.

A month before the raid, he had his passport confiscated and it was discovered that he only had $10 in his account, and was unable to pay off a debt accrued by his charity.

Officers secured two BMWs and a Mercedes-Benz from the property as they attempted to recover funds to meet the fine.

A piece of art from the painter Andre Berardo from a house owned by Ronaldinho's family in Porto Alegre was also taken.

According to the Brazilian Public Ministry, the ex-player's brother, Assis Moreira, and the Ronaldinho Gaucho Institute, which helps children and teenagers, were found guilty of environmental damage by the Court of Justice of Rio Grande do Sul in 2013.

They were said to have cut down native forest and carried out drainage and land movement without a licence.

The debt was reported at $3.4 million.

 

PROPERTIES SEIZED AS CREDITORS SEEK MILLIONS

Last summer, Ronaldinho had 57 properties seized and his Brazilian and Spanish passports taken away from him.

His previous debt for environmental damage remained unpaid and had risen to nearly $4 million.

On top of that, Ronaldinho was reportedly being pursued by creditors seeking to recover $3.3 million in other debts, including council taxes, according to the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo.

A judge in Porto Alegre told Reuters the case fell under judicial secrecy rules and would not confirm or deny any details about the newspaper report.

Ronaldinho's lawyer denied the player's assets were under restriction but told Folha de Sao Paulo he could not comment on the details of the case because of the judicial secrecy ruling.

PASSPORT SHAME SEES RONALDINHO FACE COURT

Ronaldinho is currently being held by police in Paraguay for allegedly using a fake passport to enter the country.

Police searched the hotel he was staying in with his brother in Asuncion and uncovered the "false documents".

Paraguay's interior minister Euclides Acevedo told ESPN Brazil that the pair hadn't been arrested, but were under investigation.

They are said to be co-operating with the authorities and deny any wrongdoing.

Ronaldinho had travelled to Paraguay to promote a book and a campaign for underprivileged children before the bust.

It's the latest shame in the chapter of Ronaldinho's life, that has had more twists and turns than one of his famous mazy dribbles.

What next for the fallen icon?

The Brazilian has been accused of using a fake passport to enter Paraguay.
The Brazilian has been accused of using a fake passport to enter Paraguay.

This story originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission



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