Brazil legend Ronaldinho has been arrested in Paraguay for allegedly using false documentation to enter the South American country.
The 39-year-old, who received the World Cup with Brazil in 2002, was detained in the Resort Yacht Golf Club Paraguayo alongside with his brother Roberto on Wednesday night, the Ministry of Interior of Paraguay has confirmed.
According to La Nacion, passports had been found in the resort bearing the names of Ronaldinho and Roberto with Paraguayan nationality.
Both the brothers remained in the hotel suite overnight, with Paraguayan authorities due to issue a declaration on Thursday morning.
An official statement from the Paraguayan police had previously published that Ronaldinho and his entourage had been invited to Paraguay by casino owner Nelson Belotti.
The former Brazil international was anticipated to hold quite a few publicity events, with the media invited to witness his interaction with fans and dignitaries.
Ronaldinho is presently without a Brazilian passport due to the fact of an environmental fine he acquired in 2018.
The former Barcelona star and his brother have been convicted of illegally constructing a fishing trap at Lake Guaiba in 2015 without suitable licensing in a permanent renovation area.
That conviction saw the duo handed an $8.5 million (£6.5m) fine in November 2018 and after failing to pay up, Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice determined to cease Ronaldinho from being in a position to depart the country.
Despite being unable to journey out of Brazil, Ronaldinho was unveiled as one of the country’s new ambassadors for tourism in September last year.
Literally stranded in his homeland, the former AC Milan star stated at the time that he was attempting to make the most of his situation after accepting a role to promote Brazil’s tourism.
“Tourism is very necessary for producing jobs and regaining our image internationally,” Ronaldinho stated at his unveiling as an ambassador.
Ronaldinho enjoyed a distinguished playing profession throughout South America and Europe – winning the Champions League , La Liga , Serie A and Copa Libertadores.
He additionally secured severa individual honours, together with the 2005 Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005.
The Porto Alegre-born forward lifted the World Cup in South Korea and Japan in 2002 and received the Copa America with his national team in 1999.