About less than a year ago, I went on to write about Ronaldinho’s problems with Flamengo, and his on and off the pitch troubles. I even doubted that he could return to at least part of the form he showed at Milan, before getting back to Brazil, and also said that it’d too dumb to anyone to look for his services.
Boy, was I wrong!
If the Brasileirão had a prize for Comeback Player of the Year, it’d have to be given to Ronaldinho. Arriving at Atlético Mineiro without much credit and having to prove an entire country of critics wrong, the once two-times FIFA Player of the Year changed his number due to his mother’s illness (49 stands for 1949, the year his mom was born), and started showing some glimpses of his old form in Galo’s training camp.
Those glimpses turned out to be reality for the most part of the championship, as Ronaldinho helped Atlético Mineiro in getting back to the Copa Libertadores; something they didn’t do since 2000.
As expected, interest in Ronaldinho would only go up after that. Now it seems that both Fluminense and Atlético Mineiro are battling for Ronaldinho’s services, with his brother, agent and “owner” Assis as the referee.
To make it simple: Ronaldinho signed a one-year contract with Atlético for R$ 300,000 per month (or 30,000 euros per week). That makes Ronaldinho free to sign with any other club without the need of paying a transfer fee, therefore making him more susceptible to offers.
Problem is that his brother Assis is already asking for over-the-top prices for clubs to acquire his services, some reporting that he was initially asking for R$ 1,000,000 (or 100,000 euros per week) and wouldn’t want less than that.
Those prices aren’t reachable to many clubs, but Atlético Mineiro seems keen to renovate Ronaldinho’s contract. With Fluminense and their sponsor Unimed looming over, it seems that Assis and Ronaldinho are holding the edge at the moment.
This could go on until December, when Ronaldinho’s contract is officially up. But hopefully this won’t last too long.