Barcelona legend Ronaldinho has gone from tiki-taka to riffing rapping to fight corruption with singing – months after Brazilian authorities seized his cars.
The former PSG and AC Milan genius joined Brazilian musician Jorge Vercillo in a rap demanding honesty and ethics in their country’s politics. Ronaldinho, a World Cup winner in 2002, belts out “we’re all a family on this planet”.
It seems the 39-year-old has been agitated by a fine given to his charitable cause, the Ronaldinho Gaucho Institute, for causing environmental damage.
They were penalised for cutting down forest and carrying out drainage and land movement without a licence in Porto Alegre, the capital of southern Brazil state Rio Grande do Sul.
The Brazilian Prosecutor of Justice and Defence of the Environment responded in November 2018 by taking Ronaldino’s three luxury cars and a piece of art by the painter Andre Berardo at a Porto Alegre house owned by Ronaldinho’s family and brother Assis Moreira.
The seizure was to guarantee the fine would be paid. And the guilty parties were also put under criminal investigation. The Brazilian Public Ministry said Ronaldinho and Co signed a deal to pay for fixing the damage but never did the repairs.
Ronaldinho and his brother Assis also had their passports seized after claims they could not be contacted to pay a £1.75million debt. Prosecutors reportedly only found £5,000 in Ronaldino’s bank account. Now Ronaldinho has released a musical message, with his his agenda for change.
He posted a clip of the song on social media with the caption: “One more in the firm! GARRA, music from @jorgevercillooficial, @alexnunesyyz and @ronaldinho! Now on all digital platforms.” The former playmaker, who won 97 caps and the Champions League with Barca in 2006, is entering the fray at a controversial time in Brazil.
Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, dubbed the Trump of the Tropics, was elected last October after vowing to rid Brazilian politics of corruption. So now Ronaldinho has switched from making the ball sing to having the balls to sing about what he believes in.