Former Brazilian soccer player Ronaldo de Assis Moreira ‘Ronaldinho’, 42, dressed in shorts again to play a match in the Kings League, the 7-a-side soccer competition with innovative rules chaired by Gerard Piqué, with the Porcinos FC team, from content creator Ibai Llanos. He did it at the CUPRA Arena in Barcelona’s Zona Franca, the city that saw him succeed as a Barcelona footballer between 2003 and 2008. Ronaldinho was the great protagonist of the match despite Porcinos FC’s defeat against Pio FC in the penalty shootout after ending regulation time at 0-0. The Brazilian did not kick any maximum penalty. “Let someone else come out, I’m not going to be running, you’re crazy,” said Ronaldinho when he explained that penalties in this particular league are different from football. They are career penalties. The player runs from the center circle, the goalkeeper from the goal line.
The presence of Ronaldinho happened that the scarce 300 seats in the CUPRA Arena pavilion were insufficient. Among the spectators, there were familiar faces such as the Barcelona soccer players Patri Guijarro and Clàudia Pina, the boxer Sandor Martín or Xavier Trias, the former mayor of Barcelona and the candidate for mayor in the municipal elections next May. In addition, the director of the Kings League on Twitch surpassed two million viewers across all channels, the competition record.
Ronaldinho arrived at the pavilion in a limousine along with the rest of Porcinos FC and was received, despite the heavy rain, with a batucada that accompanied him to the pitch. But the exazulgrana was not a starter. When he entered the field of play in minute 5, the spectators at the CUPRA Arena stood up to cheer him on. The man from Porto Alegre played at half speed, only participating in the attack plays and ignoring the defensive functions of his team. On the pitch he met up with an old acquaintance from the Spanish league, Alberto Lopo, formerly of Deportivo, Getafe and Espanyol, who was in charge of defending Ronaldinho.
“They were long negotiations, but in the end it is here. First I talked to the brother and then he got involved. Ronaldinho is the player who for me has done the most magic on a pitch, leaving Leo Messi aside”, said Gerard Piqué, the president of the Kings League. In addition, he announced that the former Brazilian soccer player will own a team in the Queens League, the women’s 7-a-side soccer competition that will begin in May. Ronaldinho worked as a professional footballer in 2018, although the last official match he played was with the Brazilian Fluminense in 2015. Before that, he also played for Querétaro, Atlético Mineiro, Flamengo, Milan, Barcelona, Paris Saint -Germain and the Guild.
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