Ronaldinho Caught With Fake Passport In Paraguay

Former Brazil international Ronaldinho has been detained by police in Paraguay for allegedly using a fake passport to enter the country, authorities say.

The fake passport was retrieved following a police search of the hotel where the star had been staying with his brother in the capital, Asuncion, on Wednesday.

The two-time World Player of the Year was in the country to promote a book and a campaign for underprivileged children.

Another man who travelled with the brothers – 45-year-old Wilmondes Sousa Lira – has also been held.

Paraguay’s interior minister told ESPN Brazil that Ronaldinho and his brother had not been arrested but are under investigation.

Minister Euclides Acevedo also said the pair deny wrongdoing and are co-operating with the authorities.

Ronaldinho, 39, has no known legal passports after reportedly having his Brazilian and Spanish passports confiscated over unpaid taxes in July 2019.

“Ronaldinho will be heard at eight in the morning on Thursday at the prosecutor’s office,” minister Euclides Acevedo told AFP, adding that customs authorities would also be investigated.

“I respect his sporting popularity but the law must also be respected. No matter who you are, the law still applies”, Mr Acevedo told local media.

Ronaldinho was the 2004 and 2005 World Player of the Year and enjoyed the prime of his career at Spanish giants Barcelona. He won the World Cup in 2002 alongside fellow superstar forwards Ronaldo and Rivaldo.

Ronaldinho’s net worth is estimated at £80-100m and he is reported to charge around £150,000 for a single promoted Instagram post.