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Ronaldinho to leave jail for luxury hotel arrest in Paraguay

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ASUNCION, Paraguay — Retired soccer star Ronaldinho was released from a high-security jail in Paraguay on Tuesday after more than a month, but was ordered to serve house arrest at a luxury hotel while he’s investigated for using a fake passport to enter the country.

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Ronaldinho, the Brazilian former FIFA player of the year, and his brother Roberto de Assis were also told to pay bail of $800,000 each.

Ronaldinho, who helped lead Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title, was jailed on March 6 after entering the small South American country with a false Paraguayan passport. He told local authorities in a hearing that the document was a gift from a Brazilian businessman, Wilmondes Sousa Liria, who was also jailed.

“I decided to put them in house arrest because the investigation is now well advanced, differently from the situation one month ago,” Judge Gustavo Amarilla said when issuing the ruling.

Ronaldinho had his Brazilian passport seized at home due to an investigation into alleged environmental crimes, but the document was returned to him in September. One month later he played in a friendly in Israel.

If convicted, the former Barcelona star could spend up to five years in jail. Fourteen people are being investigated in the case.

Ronaldinho came to Paraguay to promote his autobiography. He was jailed in an improvised penitentiary in the south of Asunción, which is used for 150 dangerous criminals, including convicts of drug dealing, corruption and rape. During his stay he played soccer with inmates and took pictures with them that were shared on social media.

Paraguayan police detain Ronaldinho on false passport allegations

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ASUNCION, Paraguay — Former soccer star Ronaldinho has been detained by Paraguayan police for allegedly entering the country with a falsified passport.

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Police raided the Brazil star’s hotel room on Wednesday night and prosecutors said they found Paraguayan passports that had been falsified with data of Ronaldinho and his brother.

Prosecutor Federico Delfino said the brothers left Brazil using passports of that country, but entered Paraguay on Wednesday morning using Paraguayan documents.

“They are original passports, but with apocryphal data,” Delfino said.

He added Ronaldinho told investigators the people who brought him gave him the documents. Ronaldinho was in Paraguay to help a local foundation campaign for children’s health.

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The player was testifying before the country’s organized crime unit on Thursday.

Delfino said prosecutors have until late Thursday to decide if they will bring charges.

Ronaldinho won the 2002 World Cup with Brazil, the Champions League with Barcelona, the Copa Libertadores with Atletico Mineiro, the Ballon d’Or and two FIFA player of the year awards before retiring in 2015.

Brazilian court upholds seizure of Ronaldinho’s passport

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) A court in Brazil has upheld a decision to seize the passports of former World Cup winner Ronaldinho and his brother Assis Moreira.

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A panel of Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that the former Barcelona star should not be allowed to travel because of an ongoing lawsuit over alleged environmental crimes.

Ronaldinho can still appeal the decision. His passport was seized in November because of unpaid damages of $2.1 million in the case.

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The suit is related to the illegal construction of a fishing platform and a berth on the shores of the Guaiba river in his hometown of Porto Alegre in 2015.

Ronaldinho did not have the environmental license to build in the region.

Ronaldinho reportedly marrying two women at same time

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Ronaldinho always had a knack for making the difficult look simple.

He’d better hope that skill extends to a pretty unique marital arrangement.

The retired 2002 World Cup champion is going to marry two women at the same time, Priscilla Coelho and Beatriz Souza, in August.

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Apparently he’s been living with the pair since December, having dated Coelho since 2013 and Souza beginning in 2016.

Ronaldinho, 38, co-existed in a three-pronged offense with Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto'o, so maybe?

From Yahoo! Sports:

Bigamy and polygamy are illegal in Brazil, but Ronaldinho’s case is a little different. He’s not planning to marry one woman, and then the other; he’s planning to marry both at the same time. That’s considered a three-person civil union, and they do exist in Brazil. The first one, between two women and a man, was recognized in 2012. Another was recognized in 2015, between three women who intended to raise a child together.

Pochettino: Dembele “next to Ronaldinho, Maradona”

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Mousa Dembele‘s been appreciated as a midfielder for sometime, but the Belgian is getting as many rave reviews as any other non-scorer these days.

Tottenham’s middle man got the twice-over from his manager on Friday, as Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino prepares for Crystal Palace.

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Calling Dembele a “genius,” Pochettino heaped praise on the 30-year-old.

“I’ve told you, I put him next to Ronaldinho, Maradona, Okocha – players I’ve been lucky enough to play with. For me he’s one of the unbelievable talents in the history of football.”

The temptation is to make a joke about Dembele being next to Ronaldinho and Maradona in the lobby of an awards ceremony, but the player has been dynamite for some time.

The advanced stats, for what they’re worth, aren’t incredibly kind to Dembele aside from his club-best 93 percent passing percentage and average of 2.2 successful dribbles per game. Still, it’s improbably hard to ignore the eye test, and Dembele passes that one every time.

Spurs are off to Selhurst Park for a Sunday match with Palace (Watch live at 7 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).