Okay, what’s going on here?
A Brazilian legend, former World Cup and Champions League winner, plus a two-time World Player of the Year has apparently been offered a contract by Conference South side Basingstoke Town in England.
Ronaldinho is currently a free agent and the 34-year-old is on the hunt for a new club after leaving Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro. The former Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain star is being touted as one of the top free agents on the market with several professional teams interested in him. Basingstoke are part-time and play in front of crowds of less than 1,000 fans most weeks.
The Hampshire team, who are in the sixth tier of English soccer, claim to have held talks with Ronaldinho’s agent and their marketing director, Simon Hood, had the following to say.
“Discussions have been had, and there is an offer on the table. Now it is up to Ronaldinho to decide whether he wants to take us up on it. He is on a free transfer and if he wants to get into English football, I cannot think of a better way to do that than by signing for Basingstoke Town.”
This news seems absolutely crazy.
During my playing days, I turned out at Basingstoke several times and the Camrose Stadium isn’t the most pleasant of places. For anyone who doesn’t know where Basingstoke is, it’s about 40 minutes outside of central London by car or train and has a population of around 84,000. In the South of England, people often refer to the town as ‘Amazingstoke’ in a sarcastic manner because, well, it isn’t. No disrespect intended to the good folks of Basingstoke.
So, is Ronaldinho really heading to Basingstoke? Not a chance. Is it fun to read stories like this? Absolutely.