Monday, June 24, 2024

Jeers, protests greet Ronaldinho in Brazil


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RIO DE JANEIRO: Soccer superstar Ronaldinho was greeted by jeers and protests as he returned to Gremio, the club where he was raised, for a Brazilian championship match with Flamengo.

The former AC Milan and Barcelona player’s unhappy return was completed when he received a yellow card and his side squandered a 2-0 lead to lose 4-2.

”Everyone knew this was going to happen but for anyone who is used to the Flamengo supporters, it’s not really much noise,” he told reporters after Sunday’s game.

Ronaldinho left Gremio in 2001 to join Paris St Germain in acrimonious circumstances.

He angered fans of the Porto Alegre club still further this year when he chose to join Flamengo instead of Gremio on leaving AC Milan.

He was jeered every time he touched the ball and fans held up banners reading ”mercenary.”

Although Gremio scored four goals, one of the biggest cheers of the afternoon came when Ronaldinho received a yellow card for dissent.

Deivid and Thiago Neves put Flamengo 2-0 ahead but Gremio hit back with goals by Andre Lima either side of halftime before Dougles and Argentine substitute Ezequiel Miralles completed a home win.

Corinthians have 58 points from 32 games, level with Vasco da Gama who were held 0-0 at home by Sao Paulo, and lead by virtue of the number of games won. (Reuters)


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