FC Barcelona legend and Brazil 2002 World Cup winner Ronaldinho will return to playing football again on Sunday, it has been confirmed.
Around an hour after his former team crashed out of the Europa League playoffs thanks to a crushing 4-3 aggregate defeat to Manchester United, it was announced that the 2005 Ballon d’Or winner has been signed by Porcinos FC in the King’s League.
Organised by the Kosmos company of a fellow Blaugrana icon in Gerard Pique, the King’s League is a seven-a-side competition that the former defender established in 2022 with help from popular streamer Ibai Llanos.
Lanos is also the chairman of Porcinos FC and has pulled off a coup by landing Ronaldinho, who officially retired in 2018 aged 37.
While other respected names in the competition which kicked off on January 1 include Sergio Aguero and Iker Casillas, Ronaldinho is its biggest draw so far.
With matches held at the Cupra Arena in the Catalan capital’s port, Ronaldinho will return to playing in Barcelona when he makes his Kings League debut against PIO FC at 9pm local time on Sunday evening.
Ronaldinho warned that he would be spending more time in Barcelona after his son Joao Mendes recently signed with Barca’s Juvenil youth side.
If Porcinos FC advance in the competition, Ronaldinho could grace the iconic stadium’s turf once more given that the King’s League Final Four will be held there on March 26.
A capacity crowd would be expected to turn out and catch a glimpse of Barca’s greatest star of the 2000s, who is credited with pulling the club out of one of its darkest moments and returning it to winning ways.
“You will always be Barca’s smile. You were the resurrection of the club,” he was told by President Joan Laporta – who signed him from Paris Saint Germain in 2003 – at a Mundo Deportivo gala earlier this month.