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Ronaldinho leaves prison for luxury hotel arrest in Paraguay

World News | Published:

The ex-Barcelona and AC Milan star helped lead Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title.

Ronaldinho and his brother Roberto de Assis Moreira

Retired footballer Ronaldinho has been released from a high-security jail in Paraguay.

The Brazilian former Fifa player of the year has been released after more than a month behind bars but ordered to serve house arrest at a luxury hotel while he is investigated for using a fake passport to enter the country.

Ronaldinho and his brother Roberto de Assis have also been told to pay bail of around £650,000 each.

The ex-Barcelona and AC Milan star, who helped lead Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title, was jailed on March 6 after entering the small South American country with a false Paraguayan passport.

Ronaldinho
Ronaldinho scored against England as he helped Brazil on their way to winning the World Cup in 2002 (Owen Humphreys/PA)

He told local authorities in a hearing that the document was a gift from a Brazilian businessman, Wilmondes Sousa Liria, who was also jailed.

“I decided to put them in house arrest because the investigation is now well advanced, differently from the situation one month ago,” Judge Gustavo Amarilla said when issuing the ruling.

Ronaldinho had his Brazilian passport seized at home due to an investigation into alleged environmental crimes, but the document was returned to him in September. One month later he played in a friendly in Israel.

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If convicted, he could spend up to five years in jail. Fourteen people are being investigated in the case.

Ronaldinho came to Paraguay to promote his autobiography.

He was jailed in an improvised penitentiary in the south of Asuncion, which is used for 150 dangerous criminals, including convicts of drug dealing, corruption and rape.

During his stay he played football with inmates and took pictures with them that were shared on social media.

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