Football icon, Ronaldinho has only N2,400 in his account

Prosecutors found a nominal amount at the former
Brazil and Barcelona star's disposal despite the
large fine he was slapped with three years ago.


A court in Brazil has seized the passports of Ronaldinho and
his brother over their failure to pay a fine for building on an
environmental protection area.

The former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain star and his
brother, Roberto, were convicted of illegal construction in
February 2015 and ordered to pay 8.5 million Brazilian Real
(£1.7m).

Along with company Reno Constructions and Incorporations
Ltd., they were found to have built a sugar mill with a fishing
platform and a pier in a permanent preservation area on
Lake Guaíba without permission.

DHaving so far defaulted on the payments and proving
difficult to track down, the 38-year-old and his brother were
taken to court again, and the public prosecutor said that an
investigation into their bank accounts revealed a balance of
just 24.63 Brazilian Real (£5).
"There is no other measure than the retention of the
passports as a coercive measure in the face of repeated
unfair, abusive and total disrespect, disobedience and non-
compliance with the legal system," the prosecutor argued.
The court in Rio Grande do Sul, the 2005 Ballon d'Or
winner's home state, has now ruled that the footballing icon
must submit his passport when he returns to Brazil from his
current travels.
A statement from Judge Newton Fabrício read: "The subjects
responsible for the depletion of the environment have long
been evading compliance with their legal obligations, even
though they have the means to settle it and are public
figures with high purchasing power able to compensate for
the environmental damages that remain fully defaulted."
He continued: "Although photographed routinely in different
parts of the world, corroborated by the gathering of
Certificates of Migratory Movements, the defendants,
curiously, in their country of origin, have an uncertain and/or
unknown whereabouts.
"I determine the immediate seizure of the passports of the
defendants by the authorities, with the additional order to
include restriction on issuing a new passport until the
fulfillment of the obligation determined in the sentence."

Ronaldinho officially retired from football earlier this year,
having not played professionally since leaving Brazilian
side Fluminense in 2015.

He was capped 97 times by Brazil, scoring 33 goals –
including two en route to World Cup glory in Japan and
South Korea in 2002.

He joined Paris Saint-Germain from Gremio to begin his
European career, which flourished spectacularly at
Barcelona between 2003 and 2008.
Ronaldinho inspired back-to-back La Liga triumphs in
2004-05 and 2005-06, also winning the Champions League
in the latter season.

He was at the peak of his powers as he claimed the Ballon
d'Or in 2005; less so during a three-year stay with AC Milan,
although he did feature in all-star line-ups alongside the
likes of Paolo Maldini, Kaka and David Beckham.

Ronaldinho left San Siro midway through the Serie A title-
winning 2010-11 season and returned to his homeland with
Flamengo. He also experienced stints at Atletico Mineiro and
in Mexico with Queretaro.

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