The global soccer scene is in turmoil, and this time, it isn’t about a controversial penalty or the usual on-field drama. Ronaldinho, once the crown jewel of teams like Paris Saint-Germain, F.C Barcelona, and AC Milan, finds himself at the center of a storm swirling with allegations, missed appearances, and crypto-related conspiracies.
The ghosted congressional hearings
It appears that even the golden foot of Brazil isn’t immune to controversy. On the hot seat for an alleged pyramid scheme tied to one of his enterprises, Ronaldinho has been playing a dangerous game of dodgeball with the Brazilian Congress.
After brushing off two summons to testify, the soccer maestro cited a dubious reason – adverse weather conditions. However, skeptical eyebrows were raised across the legislative chambers.
How many more chances will he get? Congressman Aureo Ribeiro implies there might be just one more shot for Ronaldinho on August 31st. But, if he opts for another no-show, it might be law enforcement showing up at his doorstep next, ensuring he faces the congressional committee.
Brazilian law doesn’t mince words when it comes to those subpoenaed by Congress. It’s simple: they must attend. And for those thinking of flouting this, there’s a neat package of fines and a police escort waiting to guide them right to the very hearing they tried to dodge.
The cloudy world of ’18kRonaldinho’
Now, you might be wondering, why all the fuss? What could drag a soccer legend into such a mire? The root of the matter traces back to a venture by the name of ’18kRonaldinho’. Allegedly, this enterprise dangled the carrot of daily returns exceeding 2% through cryptocurrency investments.
But the dream soured when the company apparently failed to deliver on this promise. The ramifications were severe – a whopping lawsuit claiming damages north of $61 million.
As if this wasn’t incriminating enough, this lawsuit has snowballed, becoming a linchpin in a larger probe into the murky depths of crypto fraud within Brazil.
Ronaldinho’s defenders are quick to distance the star from the core operations of the company. They paint him as just the ‘face’ of the brand, an unwitting pawn, whose name and image were manipulated without proper consent.
Interestingly, this isn’t Ronaldinho’s only dance with cryptocurrency. Last year, in a joint venture with INFLUXO, he dove into the rapidly growing nonfungible token (NFT) arena, unveiling a collection of his own.
But as this crypto storm gathers pace, an old ghost from the past also raises its head. Cast your mind back to 2020, and you might recall another controversy that ensnared Ronaldinho and his sibling Roberto de Assis.
Their crime? Possession of counterfeit passports, a mistake that cost them a grueling 170 days in a Paraguayan prison. Making matters even more intricate, Assis’s name is also splashed across the current cryptocurrency investigation.
The coming days promise more revelations, more drama, and hopefully, clarity on the extent of Ronaldinho’s involvement. For fans worldwide, the question lingers: Is their soccer hero truly a victim, or is there a darker side to this once-beloved icon? Only time, and perhaps a long-awaited congressional testimony, will tell.