By RYAN TOLMICH
Legendary Brazilian attacker Ronaldinho is on the hunt for a new club.
The 2005 Ballon d’Or winner and Atletico Minero have mutually agreed to part ways, ending the 34-year-old’s time with the Brazilian club. The former AC Milan and Barcelona star joined Atletico from fellow Brazilian side Flamengo in 2012 and led the team to a Copa Libertadores victory the following year.
Ronaldinho had previously signed an extension with the club this past January, but manager Levir Culpi confirmed Monday that the two sides had parted ways.
“I can’t call on Ronaldinho anymore,” said Culpi. “His cycle with us has ended. It’s unfortunate because he’s an idol to all of us. Everyone loves his football, the way he plays and he’s a very charismatic person. But that’s the way it goes. He’s leaving and we must move on without him.”
Boca Juniors, Fluminese and an unnamed MLS side have reportedly expressed interest in acquiring the Brazilian star, according to Goal.
Here are some more of Monday’s news and notes from around the world of soccer:
MESSI TRIAL TO GO ON AS PLANNED
It turns out even the most famous of soccer stars can’t dribble their way past the long arm of the law.
A Barcelona judge ruled Monday that Lionel Messi’s trial for tax fraud will go on as planned, rejecting a request from the public prosecutor’s office to dismiss the case.
Messi, along with his father, Jorge Messi, is under trial for three counts of tax fraud. Prosecutors’ request to dismiss the soccer star and only try the Messi patriarch were denied. The judge presiding over the case ruled that Messi “could have known about and consented to the creation and maintenance of a fictitious company structure, whose sole aim was to evade the fulfillment of tax obligations resulting from the income generated from the exploitation of his image rights”.
The judge gave the prosecution ten days to either request the opening of the oral proceedings or dismiss the trial.
DUNGA TAKES SHOTS AT NEYMAR, ALVES
Less than a week after taking charge of the Brazilian National Team for his second stint, Dunga has already made it clear that the team’s mentality will be undergoing a massive overhaul.
The 1994 World Cup winner took shots at the most recent Brazilian World Cup team by criticizing the emotional responses displayed by the team at this summer’s tournament.
“Tearful scenes like those witnessed during the game against Chile promote a negative image of football,” said the Brazilian boss. “We’re macho, we like to think that men don’t cry, although we respect everyone”
Dunga went on to criticize starters Neymar and Dani Alves repeated changes of hairstyles, saying that the duo should have done so “before or after the tournament”. The 50-year-old manager also discussed the player’s sponsorships, pointing out the lack of Brazilian apparel on display during press conferences.
“The main focus has to be the Brazil national team, Dunga said. “When you give a press conference on international duty you give it in a Brazil cap. (…) You have to market the beautiful game.”
Finally, Dunga pointed to how his term will differ, stating that “people should talk more about what I do on the pitch and less about what I do off it”.
Tottenham move towards acquiring Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez. (REPORT)
French club RC Lens have been admitted into Ligue 1 despite financial issues. (REPORT)
FIFA issues punishments to two players involved in match fixing. (REPORT)
Where do you see Ronaldinho ending up? Do you see Messi’s trial impacting his on-the-field success? Are Dunga’s criticisms fair?
Share your thoughts below.