Ronaldinho says arrest and confinement has been 'hard'

Ronaldinho (AFP)
Ronaldinho (AFP)

Former Brazilian football star Ronaldinho said on Monday that his arrest and subsequent house arrest in Paraguay for using a false passport was "a very hard blow".

"I would never have imagined myself in such a situation," said the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain striker in an interview with the Paraguayan newspaper ABC.

Ronaldinho and his brother Roberto de Assis Moreira are accused of entering Paraguay in possession of false passports.

"I was completely caught off guard when I found out that these passports were not valid," Ronaldinho said in his first public statement since his arrest two days after arriving in Asuncion at the beginning of March.

After more than a month behind bars, the 2005 Ballon d'Or winner and his brother paid bail of $1.6 million. Since 7 April they have been under house arrest at the Palmaroga Hotel in the historic centre of the Paraguayan capital.

Ronaldinho said he hopes to be released "as soon as possible" after cooperating with the Paraguayan police investigation.

"We came to participate in the launch of an online casino and the publication of my autobiography with the company in charge of exploiting the rights for Paraguay," he said.

He said he was originally scheduled to be back in Brazil on March 7 for his son's birthday.

"The first thing I would do once I leave Paraguay is to go and give my mother a hug and then digest what this situation has generated," said Ronaldinho, who turned 40 on 21 March.

Ronaldinho and his brother face up to five years in prison if found guilty.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
Lions 0
Western Province 0
Voting Booth
Would you be keen to see the Springboks join the Six Nations?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes! The Northern Hemisphere is the future.
52% - 2559 votes
No! The Rugby Championship is still the pinnacle.
48% - 2317 votes