Ronaldinho to Enter Politics, Wants to 'Give Something Back to His Country'

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2018

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - MARCH 10: Ronaldinho greets fans during a match between Ronaldinho and Mexican football player as part of the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour presented by Heineken on March 10, 2017 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Football legend Ronaldinho has declared his intention to stand in Brazil's general elections in October.

According to Janet Tappin Coelho of the Mirror, the former Brazil and Barcelona star will run on behalf of the Brazilian Republican Party in the Senate or the Chamber of Deputies.

Ronaldinho's brother, Roberto de Assis Moreira, said the legend wants to "give something back to his country." 

Ronaldinho added: "I am happy to be able to participate in a project aimed at improving our country and bringing modernity, joy and health to the entire population."

The 38-year-old spoke during an approval ceremony in Brasilia, where members of the PRB signed off on his candidacy alongside his brother and manager Roberto, who will stand alongside him.

PRB president, senator Eduardo Lopes, said:

"This a historic moment like so many other moments in Ronaldinho's life. 

"He gave Brazil his talent and ability and now with his wonderful life story he will contribute to [the country through] the PRB. And he will wear the No. 10 shirt again. But this time he will be signed to the PRB."

Lopes also suggested the party may look to take advantage of retired footballer's "R10" brand in its election campaign, while Celso Russomano, the PRB's leader in the Chamber of Deputies, added: "He has done a lot for the sport as a player, and I hope he does much more as a politician."

Ronaldinho earned 97 caps for the Selecao, scoring 33 goals, and he helped the side win the World Cup in 2002. The star hung up his boots in January after a glittering career that included spells with AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, and he was named FIFA's World Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005.

Squawka Football looked at his achievements as he celebrated his 38th birthday on Wednesday:

The UEFA Champions League's official Twitter account also shared some of his impressive highlights:

Ronaldinho had expressed an interest in politics last year.

He revealed his ambition to stand for the Patriots Party (PEN) alongside presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, but the possibility of the star aligning himself with someone whose policies were "anti-gay, xenophobic, racist and pro-gun" was met with "dismay" from the Brazilian public.

The far-right congressman has joined another party, however, after his affiliation with the PEN came to an end in January.

In entering the world of politics, Ronaldinho is following in the footsteps of fellow Brazil legend Romario, who is a senator for Rio de Janeiro and will run for governorship of the city in the elections later this year.

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