Brazilian football icon Ronaldinho has been labelled “stupid” by his lawyer after being arrested for using a fake passport to enter Paraguay.
Adolfo Marin claimed the ex-Barcelona and AC Milan legend was unaware the documents were falsified, as a potential six-month prison stay looms.
The lawyer for the 39-year-old told Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo: “The courts have not taken into account the fact that Ronaldinho didn’t know he was committing a crime, because he didn’t understand he had been given false documents. He is stupid.”
While the Samba star’s lawyer appeals a decision not to allow the star to be placed in house arrest, the first photos of Ronaldinho in prison appeared on social media – still sporting his trademark grin.
And Blas Vera, the head of the Paraguayan jail, told Reuters: “In broad terms he is doing very well.
“I see he is in good spirits, just like you see him on television, always smiling.”
Paraguayan football great Carlos Gamarra visited Ronaldinho and the Brazilian’s brother Roberto Assis in prison, as prosecutors expand their investigation to include possible money laundering.
Meanwhile, the sydney morning herald reports Ronaldinho was set to be announced as the headline name for the upcoming ‘Football for Fires’ charity match.
The bushfire relief fundraiser will go ahead at ANZ Stadium on May 23, with the report claiming Ronaldinho had agreed a deal to play only last week.
But promoter Lou Sticca said the Brazilian legend would be welcome to play if he can resolve his legal situation.
Sticca told the Sydney Morning Herald: “Having spoken to his representatives, it seems that he and his brother were duped into this passport scenario.
“If he sorts out this situation and meets the entry requirements to get into Australia, we will welcome him to the Football for Fires match with open arms.
“He is an icon in world football and it would be sad if the football family was deprived from watching him play due to this passport situation.”