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Ronaldinho's Passport Reportedly Seized over Unpaid Debts in Brazil

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2018

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: 2002 World Cup winner Ronaldinho of Brazil is seen before the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Brazilian authorities have reportedly seized the passport of former Barcelona star Ronaldinho, who has an outstanding debt of 8.5 million Brazilian reals (€2.02 million) with the state. 

According to ESPN Brazil (h/t Calciomercato) the court in Rio Grande do Sul seized both his passport and that of his brother, Roberto Assis. The issue has to do with a fishing platform built on the banks of Guaiaba River.

The report stated the platform was built in a protected area, making it illegal.

Ronaldinho officially retired from the sport earlier this year, according to Assis, who also serves as his agent, per the Evening Standard's Tom Doyle.

He finished his career in his native Brazil after spells with Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Milan but continued to work overseas as an ambassador for the sport and the Blaugrana. The 38-year-old took part in the opening ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He played two games with Indian futsal team Goa 5's in the Premier Futsal League in July 2016 before starting his ambassadorial duties.

His association with Barcelona has come under scrutiny during the past months due to his public support of controversial Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro. According to Sport's Albert Masnou and Joaquim Piera, the Catalans find his political views "unacceptable" and have distanced themselves from Ronaldinho as a result.

The Blaugrana have yet to decide whether or not they will end their partnership completely, as stated by a spokesman, per Sport.

According to ktn Ronaldinho was scheduled to travel to Kenya in November:

ktn @KTNKenya

Today on What's popping, the Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho Gaucho is coming to Kenya this month on a promotional tour #YouthCafe @brian_aseli https://t.co/W2ZRnFZupr

Per Reuters Ronaldinho has held dual citizenship since 2007, when he was granted a Spanish passport.

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