Report: Barcelona to Limit Ronaldinho, Rivaldo Role After Jair Bolsonaro Support

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2018

Former Barcelona's Brazilian forward Ronaldinho poses with the trophy for the best player after a charity football match between Barcelona Legends vs Manchester United Legends at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on June 30, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Pau Barrena        (Photo credit should read PAU BARRENA/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP Contributor/Getty Images

Barcelona will reportedly reduce the presence of Brazilian football legends Ronaldinho and Rivaldo in club events and promotions due to the open support the two have given to controversial presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro in their homeland.

Per Albert Masnou and Joaquim Piera of Catalan newspaper Sport, the duo have a commercial agreement with the club that sees them make money from appearing in events, but their political views were described as "unacceptable" to the club.

Bolsonaro has made several misogynistic, racist or otherwise offensive comments during his political career, but both Rivaldo and Ronaldinho have openly campaigned for him on social media, as have several other high-profile Brazilian football stars, per Goal's Daniel Edwards.

Bolsonaro is the clear favourite to become the next president of Brazil after picking up nearly 50 percent of the votes in the first round. He'll face Fernando Haddad in the voting on October 28, and the latter will have to win nearly every other vote cast in the first round to beat him.

The 63-year-old Bolsonaro is a highly controversial figure, however. As detailed by Edwards, he has made a series of offensive comments throughout his career, including expressing his support for the military dictatorship that ruled the nation for more than two decades and saying he would have killed his own son if he had "turned out gay."

Per the AFP he also told a fellow politician he would't rape her because she didn't "deserve it" during an argument.

Bolsonaro's heavy emphasis on safety and security resonates with the voters, however. Per Edwards, the current administration has been plagued by corruption scandals and has been unable to change the negative perception surrounding the political establishment.

Tottenham Hotspur winger Lucas Moura has also defended Bolsonaro and his proposals on social media, going back and forth with his followers on Twitter, per the Associated Press (for the Daily Mail). 

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