Sao Paulo: Ronaldinho, “the ever-smiling magician” of Barcelona, as described by his former club, has ended his professional career.
Roberto Assis, the brother and agent of the 2005 Ballon d’Or winner, announced Tuesday that the 37-year-old wants to play a series of farewell matches from August — and then focus on his already busy life off the pitch.
Ronaldinho played his last professional match in 2015 for Brazilian club Fluminense.
“Ronnie’s professional career is over. He wants to be a football ambassador, do charity, and work with his friends in music from now on,” Assis told reporters.
Assis hopes to schedule some farewell matches for Ronaldinho after the World Cup in Russia, which ends July 15. The initial plan is to play games in Brazil, Europe and Asia and to also get Brazil’s national team involved, Assis said.
Last July, Ronaldinho said on the sidelines of a friendly in Chechnya that was he was “too old” to return to action. He repeated that to a Brazilian TV in November, but did not rule out reconsidering.
Ronaldinho’s decorated career also includes one World Cup title (2002), one Champions League victory (2006) and two Spanish league titles with Barcelona and two FIFA world player of the year awards (2004 and 2005).
He played 101 matches and scored 35 goals for Brazil from 1997 to 2013.
“We pay tribute to this ace that shone using the yellow shirt,” Brazil’s football confederation posted on Twitter. “Thanks for all the magic, Ronaldinho.”