Brazil legend Ronaldinho has returned to Barcelona in an ambassadorial role and agreed to join the club's "Legends project," which will see him and other ex-players represent the club in exhibition matches across the globe.
Barcelona announced the news on the club's official website, which confirmed the agreement will be finalised in the Camp Nou directors' box on Friday evening.
A Barca statement read:
FC Barcelona and Ronaldinho have reached an agreement whereby the Brazilian will become a Club ambassador and representative at various events and activities over the coming years. Ronaldinho will also form part of the Legends project, a team of former players who, through matches around the world, will help to globalise the Barca brand and its values, and will take part in clinics, training sessions and institutional events, among other activities organised by the Club.
It's been almost nine years since Ronaldinho departed Barcelona for AC Milan in the summer of 2008 before extending his career by several years in his native Brazil, as well as in Mexico with Queretaro.
The playmaker first arrived at the Camp Nou in 2003 and quickly built a rapport with Barca fans and the football community as a whole:
According to Agence France-Presse (h/t AS), the two-time World Player of the Year has agreed a 10-year deal to become Barcelona's ambassador, despite having yet to officially announce his retirement from the sport.
The 36-year-old may not be ready to hang up his boots just, either, after South American football writer Paulo Freitas reported there could still be a future for the veteran in Brasileiro Serie A:
However, having not played professionally since he represented Fluminense in 2015, the 97-times capped former Brazil international may have already played his final minutes at the top level.
Ronaldinho joined the Catalan giants from Paris Saint-Germain and went on to win two La Liga titles, a UEFA Champions League trophy and two Spanish Super Cups during his five-year stay at the Camp Nou.
It was back in October Ronaldinho helped open the club's New York office after first being announced as an ambassador, at which point he took to Instagram to state his allegiance to the club:
Those responsibilities have been upgraded further in the wake of a 10-year deal being agreed, meaning fans of the player may look forward to seeing more of Ronaldinho in the seasons to come.
As one of the biggest names to have played the game, Ronaldinho's widespread appeal will be a great tool for Barcelona in expanding their global reach, as well as helping organisations such as UNICEF.