Dubai: Football’s ‘bad boy’ and former Brazilian and FC Barcelona star footballer Ronaldinho (Ronaldo de Assis Moreira) has been released from prison and placed under house arrest in Paraguay itself late on Tuesday.
The Brazilian star, who celebrated his 40th birthday last month [March 21] in the country’s maximum security Agrupacion Especializada prison, had been detained for alleged use of a fake Paraguayan passport.
The World Cup winner had been arrested along with his older brother Roberto (49) at the beginning of March on his arrival to Asuncion, Paraguay’s capital city, for “using a public document with false content”.
But, late on Tuesday, Ronaldinho and his brother were allowed to leave prison on condition they stay within the boundaries of a hotel. Both brothers are now under house arrest at the Hotel Palmaroga in Asuncion.
Reports indicate that the siblings had met with Judge Gustavo Amarillo earlier on Tuesday for a sentencing review hearing. The former Barcelona star and Ballon d’Or winner was released from prison after just 32 days of what was meant to be a six-month sentence. Reports also claim that the pair were only released after paying a £1.3million (Dhs 6.78 million) bond.
Ronaldinho also held dual citizenship following passports from Brazil and Spain. However, these documents had already been seized by Brazilian authorities last year relating to other separate legal issues. Ronaldinho has insisted that the Paraguayan passport had been given to him as a gift from a local sponsor.
More than a month in prison has not abated Ronaldinho’s desire for life. Just hours before leaving, the footballer showed off his new bearded look, while also recording a short video for his prison teammate’s family.