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.
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.
Newcastle United winger Miguel Almiron isn’t used to waiting this long between goals.
The Paraguayan has found scoring difficult since leaving Atlanta United, despite some bright displays for the Magpies in the Premier League last season (He has not been dangerous early in this campaign).
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Almiron’s 22nd cap finally found him on the score sheet, as he nodded at the back post against Jordan on Tuesday. It was his first goal in a national team shirt.
The 25-year-old scored in the MLS Cup Playoffs quarterfinal second leg against NYCFC, but was held off the score sheet in his final three matches as the Five Stripes won the MLS Cup.
He hadn’t scored in 14 matches for Newcastle, and another nine scoreless caps with Paraguay.
Remember: This was after scoring 22 times in 70 games for Atlanta.
Alisson Becker was the hero in penalty kicks after hosts Brazil failed to break down 10-man Paraguay at the Copa America on Thursday.
Paraguay eliminated Brazil from the 2011 and 2015 editions of the tournament in penalty kicks.
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Brazil outshot Paraguay 26-5, and will face the winners of Argentina and Venezuela in the semifinals.
Gatito Fernandez made 13 saves in the loss.
Fabian Balbuena’s 58th minute red card complicated the matter for Paraguay, but the underdogs held out for kicks.
Alisson saved the first penalty of the round, and Willian gave Brazil its advantage.
Roberto Firmino slapped a right-footed shot wide, but Derlis Gonzalez did the same and Brazil held on for a semifinal spot.
Newcastle United’s Miguel Almiron will be asked to do a lot as the man atop Paraguay’s perceived 5-4-1 when he goes up against hosts Brazil on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Copa America.
[ STREAM: Brazil v. Paraguay on Telemundo Deportes ]
Almiron, the subject of transfer rumors this week, is yet to be among the goals in Paraguay’s 0-1-2 start to the tournament, but he set up the two of the three and Thursday would be a heck of a time to score his first international goal on the occasion of his 18th cap.
That’s easier said than done; Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, and Filipe Luis are set to man Brazil’s back line, with Arthur and Allan in front of them.
Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho lead the attack for Brazil, with Everton and Gabriel Jesus out wide and Alisson Becker between the sticks.
Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET. Watch it here.