Ronaldinho’s career could be over

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Brazilian superstar finds room in his crowded nightlife schedule for a trip to a local hospital


Brazilian party boy Ronaldinho, who has spent the last six months of his career at Barcelona working on his reputation as damaged goods, could have a lot more leisure time on his hands if a secretive midnight medical check up turns out to be accurate.

Spanish news website ADN reports that last week Ronaldinho turned up at the Delfos Clinic in Barcelona at 1.30 in the morning with his own private doctor, and unknown to Barcelona medical staff or Frank Rijkaard, underwent a series of x-rays and medical tests that showed his physical state to be far worse than previously imagined – “dire”, in fact.

Rumours are aswirl that the tests were performed at the urging of one of the clubs interested in buying him, and just last week Silvio Berlusconi, who had previously been pursuing the Brazilian with all the ardour of Russell Brand with perfume in his nostrils, suddenly announced that he was losing his appetite. At the time it felt like a strategy to get Barcelona to lower their price, but it could also have been a natural reaction at discovering the player’s woeful condition.

Stories also appeared in the Spanish press over the weekend regarding sightings of Ronaldinho recuperating at Barcelona nightclubs while the rest of the team were doing something or other in Manchester, including one where he “gets the beers in, dances, sings, plays the bongos and even breaks up a fight.” At four in the morning he then “takes his shirt off and surrounded by beautiful women, gives a display of his artistry as a dancer.” Ole!

So no signs of a serious leg injury there then. What on earth is going on?

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