Lionel Messi is said to be willing to spend $4.5 million to help former teammate Ronaldinho escape prison in Paraguay.
First Report Online ‘s source said that the Barca captain plans to hire four lawyers to guarantee Ronaldinho’s bail. Total cost is about 4.5 million USD.
Related parties have not yet confirmed. But there are many connections between Ronaldinho and Messi. When he started playing professionally in 2004 at Barca, Messi received great help from his Brazilian seniors. Even the first goal M10 scored for Barca came from Ronaldinho’s clearing pass.
Ronaldinho and Messi have many memories during their four years as teammates at Barca. Photo: Reuters .
Paraguayan police are holding Ronaldinho and his brother Assis in a prison in the capital Asuncion for allegedly using fake passports. According to Brazilian press, the detention period during the investigation can be up to six months.
According to the warden, the two VIP prisoners have integrated into current life. The prison reserved separate cells for them with food provided by the lawyers.
Ronaldinho arrived in Paraguay on March 4 following an invitation to promote an event. Passport provided by the inviting party, stating Paraguayan nationality, even though they are actually Brazilian.
The former striker born in 1980 has been in decline due to business since retiring. After refusing to pay an $8.5 million fine for illegally building a wharf, his passport was revoked by Brazil.
Ronaldinho played for Barca in the period 2003-2008. This was his peak time with two La Liga championships and one Champions League. Also during this period, Ronaldinho won a Golden Ball and two FIFA Best Player titles.
Ronaldinho and his brother have temporarily escaped prison – Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Ronaldinho and his brother Roberto Assis were arrested on March 6 after using fake passports to enter Paraguay. After being arrested, Ronaldinho was detained at Especializada prison without bail. A lawyer for Ronaldinho and Assis has said their detention is “arbitrary, abusive and illegal”.
However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the trial process was delayed, Ronaldinho and his brother were granted bail by the court after paying 1.6 million USD.
“It is a significant amount of cash bail to ensure they will not flee,” judge Gustavo Amarilla said of the decision to grant Ronaldinho bail.
Even though they have escaped ‘prison’, Ronaldinho and his brother are still not completely free. After being granted bail, Ronaldinho and his brother will be placed under house arrest at the Palmaroga Hotel in the capital Asuncion (Paraguay) under police guard and await trial.
Ronaldinho was the world’s top star in the period 1999-2013. During this time, Ronaldinho and the Brazilian team won the 2002 World Cup, 1999 Copa Armeria, 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup…
At the club level, Ronaldinho and Barcelona won La Liga (2004-2005, 2005-2006), Champions League (2005-2006), and then continued to win Serie A with AC Milan (2010-2011).
According to Paraguayan law, using a fake passport will result in a sentence of 6 months in prison.