Former Brazilian football star Ronaldinho spends his third night behind bars in Asuncion for using a false passport, a detention denounced by his lawyer who will ask Monday for the immediate release of the 2002 world champion. Ronaldinho had been arrested with his brother Roberto suspected of the same crime, and their preventive detention confirmed on Saturday by a judge in the Paraguayan capital. Both are accused of entering Paraguayan territory in possession of false passports.
Ronaldinho had been deprived of his passport by the Brazilian justice at the end of 2018, following his condemnation to a fine of 2.5 million dollars (approximately 2.25 million euros), which he never paid, for having built a jetty without authorization at the edge of a lake in a protected area, according to Brazilian media. The 2005 Ballon d'Or arrived with his brother in Asuncion to promote a book and participate in various charitable events. Paraguayan police searched the hotel where the two men were staying, and investigators discovered false passports made in Asuncion a few months ago, according to Interior Minister Euclides Acevedo.
Ronaldihno, who played in Barcelona and Paris SG, received several visits Sunday, including from his lawyers, in the police building of Asuncion where he is detained with a deputy accused of corruption and a former President of the Paraguayan Football Association, under investigation for illicit enrichment. "Ronaldinho did not commit any crime because he did not know that the passport given to him was a forgery," said his Brazilian lawyer, Sergio Queiroz.