Legendary Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho has officially retired from football, the player’s brother and agent Roberto Assis has confirmed.
The 37-year-old hasn’t played professionally since leaving Brazilian side Fluminense in 2015.
Last month, Ronaldinho announced his intention to retire at some point in 2018, saying, « I think I’m saying goodbye to football next year, officially. »
Plans are already underway for a farewell schedule of games.
« He’s quit football, it’s over, » Assis told O Globo. « Let’s now do something nice [his farewell], big as it should [be], after the Russia World Cup, maybe in August.
« We’ll do some events now around Brazil, Europe and Asia. Of course, we’re also arranging something with the Brazil national team as well.
« Nike [Ronaldinho’s long-time sponsors] will be with us together on this project, there are no details yet.
« For now we’re arranging a programme, a schedule. The fact he’s been Barcelona’s ambassador for 10 years now will help a lot abroad. He’s held in the highest regard there.
« There are now three arranged events – Mexico will be the next one, on March 1. »
Ronaldinho was capped 97 times by Brazil, scoring 33 goals – including two en route to World Cup glory in Japan and South Korea in 2002.
He joined Paris Saint-Germain from Gremio to begin his European career, which flourished spectacularly at Barcelona between 2003 and 2008.
Ronaldinho inspired back-to-back La Liga triumphs in 2004-05 and 2005-06, also winning the Champions League in the latter season.
He was at the peak of his powers as he claimed the Ballon d’Or in 2005; less so during a three-year stay with AC Milan, although he did feature in all-star line-ups alongside the likes of Paolo Maldini, Kaka and David Beckham.
Ronaldinho left San Siro midway through the Serie A title-winning 2010-11 season and returned to his homeland with Flamengo. He also experienced stints at Atletico Mineiro and in Mexico with Queretaro.