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Ronaldinho makes controversial switch to Mineiro

June 5, 2012

Ronaldinho-003.jpg

• Ronaldinho had his Flamengo contract terminated by a judge
• ‘My future is with Atlético’ says the 32-year-old Brazilian

Ronaldinho signed for the Brazilian club Atlético Mineiro on Monday, just four days after leaving Flamengo and suing his former team for unpaid wages.< /p>

Atlético have signed the former World Cup winner and two-times world player of the year until the end of the year and he could make his debut on Wednesday in a league match against Bahia.

The announcement was made just hours after television images showed Ronaldinho practising with Atlético players in the city of Belo Horizonte earlier in the day.

“I returned to Brazil to win titles and now I’m having a new opportunity,” Ronaldinho said at a news conference. “I’m arriving at the club to give my best and to try to help Atlético win titles. I’m motivated and focused on doing my best. I feel like I still have many good years left in my career.”

Financial details of the contract signed with the 32-year-old Brazilian were not released. The club’s president, Alexandre Kalil, hinted Ronaldinho will not be earning the same monthly salary he was on at Flamengo, reportedly about $700,000 (£455,000).

“I can’t talk about his salary,” Kalil said. “But At lético will be able to pay for it by itself, we won’t need the help of a partner. He is not just any player, he is Ronaldinho. I have a reputation as a madman but I am not mad enough to turn down the chance to sign Ronaldinho.”

Atlético, one of two big clubs in Belo Horizonte along with Cruzeiro, finished 15th in the league last season and have won the title just once before in 1971.

Ronaldinho’s contract with Flamengo was terminated by a judge last Thursday after he sued the club for reportedly £12.7m in unpaid wages and bonuses.

“What happened with Flamengo is in the past,” Ronaldinho said. “Now it’s a new phase in my career and my future is with Atlético.”

Flamengo admitted having difficulties paying for Ronaldinho’s salary after ending their partnership with sports marketing group Traffic, which had paid most of the player’s wages. Read More

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