Friday, June 01, 2012


Former world player of the year Ronaldinho is a free agent after walking out Flamengo claiming the Brazilian club owe him £12m in unpaid wages.

The forward has been with the club in his homeland for two years since leaving AC Milan, but on Thursday a judge ruled in favor of his request to have his contract terminated. 

Ronaldinho's lawyer Gislaine Nunes said. 'Flamengo has already been notified. Now we are demanding a very high amount in compensation, of course, which he has the right to receive by contract.'

Last month, Flamengo's biggest fan group published a letter on its website criticising Ronaldinho and accusing him of being unprofessional for his alleged appearances at parties and nightclubs.

Ronaldinho was under heavy pressure because of his poor performances and the team's disappointing results this year. Fans and even team coach Joel Santana had been castigating him, and there had been talks about the player possibly leaving the club for some time.

The spat with Flamengo escalated on Wednesday, when the club's vice president of football, Paulo Cesar Coutinho, was caught on camera telling fans that Ronaldinho wasn't playing well and that president Amorim was going to suspend the player.

The 32-year-old Ronaldinho said he wasn't going to play because his mother was sick and recently underwent surgery to remove a tumor in the southern city of Porto Alegre.

Ronaldinho's agent and brother, Roberto de Assis, had been complaining recently that the club wasn't paying Ronaldinho everything that he was owed contractually.

Ronaldinho became one of the most high-profile acquisitions by a Brazilian club when he joined Flamengo at the beginning of last year after a decade playing in European football, where he thrived with Barcelona and in Serie A.

He struggled in his first few months with Flamengo and was jeered by fans, but bounced back and was instrumental in the title in the Rio de Janeiro state championship in 2011.

He then helped Flamengo earn a spot in this year's Copa Libertadores and regained a spot in the national team, but began poorly again throughout this year.


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