Coritiba reserve luxury mansion for Ronaldinho as deal nears

Rio de Janeiro, Jan 22 (IANS) Brazilian first division football club Coritiba has reserved a luxury mansion for Ronaldinho in anticipation of signing the 2002 FIFA World Cup winner, according to Brazilian media reports.

The Uol Esporte portal on Saturday said the $3 million property in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba will be Ronaldinho’s new home, should the 36-year-old forward agree to join them.

It boasts a 1400 square-metre swimming pool, six suites, a games room and a garage with capacity for 10 vehicles, the portal said, reports Xinhua.

Ronaldinho is understood to have agreed in principal to personal terms and is expected to sign a contract on Monday.

A major influence in the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year’s decision has been the presence of his former Barcelona teammate and friend Juliano Belletti, now Coritiba’s international director.

“It has been agreed that Belletti will take responsibility for Ronaldinho’s affairs off the pitch,” Uol Esporte said, citing sources with knowledge of the negotiations.

“Ronaldinho will live close to Belletti, and just a five-minute drive from the club’s training facilities. Belletti will be like Ronaldinho’s minder,” the portal added.

Ronaldinho has been without a club since leaving Brazil’s Fluminense in September 2015. In the past year he has made one-off friendly appearances in Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, the United States and China, as well as participating in a futsal tournament in India.