Ronaldinho has spoken about his “difficult” month in a Paraguayan jail after his arrest for alleged passport fraud.
According to the former World Player of the Year, he was surprised when he and his brother, who was arrested with him, were told that the passports they entered the country with were fake.
“We were totally surprised to learn that the documents were not legal,” he said in his first interview since his arrest.
“Since then our intention has been to collaborate with the justice system to clarify the facts. From that moment until today, we have explained everything and facilitated everything that has been requested of us”
He added that he never imagined he would spend time in jail as the whole of his professional career had been focused on making people happy.
“It was a tough blow, I never imagined that I would go through such a situation. All my life I have sought to reach the highest professional level and bring joy to people with my football.”
Ronaldinho and his brother, who were released after paying their $1.6 million bail, are staying at the Presidential Hotel Palmaroga in Paraguayan capital Asuncion under house arrest.
Ronaldinho reportedly asked the hotel staff for a ball and a room in which he could play football when he arrived.
The request was immediately granted by the hotel manager.
“Ronaldinho does not lose his temper and he alternates his conversations with jokes,” the manager, Emilio Yegros said.
“He seems like a good guy. He never loses his smile, neither does his brother. His countenance changed from the first day, when he arrived tense and stressed.”
Yegros said the hotel had given Ronaldinho a “30m X 15-sized hall for his kickabouts.”
Ronaldinho’s stay at the hotel under house arrest might be the biggest highlight of his time in the country so far.
The suite in the four-star hotel according to media reports comes complete with a four-poster bed, five-star room service, 55 inch TV and whirlpool bath.
While a stay in the room is usually quite costly, the hotel has offered discounts due to the coronavirus pandemic with the suite said to cost about £87-per-night now.
The ruling to release him which was done via Skype, saw Ronaldinho standing with his brother and his lawyers in prison.
The judge, Gustavo Amarilla sought assurances from the former footballer that he will remain under house arrest and not attempt to escape.
“Your lawyers say you are not going to abscond and you are going to respect the conditions of the house arrest. I need to know whether you understand the terms of the bail agreement and personally accept it.”
Ronaldinho and his brother both respond “I accept”
The Brazilian who was smiling throughout finished with his famous hand celebration before the judge ended the session.
The judge also spelt out the conditions of the house arrest, stating that the pair would have to foot their hotel bills during the period.
“I have the assurance of the hotel managers that they, at their own expense, can observe house arrest there,” Judge Amarilla said
Ronaldinho logrando salir de la cárcel por Skype, será uno de los eventos más surrealistas que verás en esta pandemia. pic.twitter.com/k4XIIySNAB
— José Carlos Crespo (@josecarloscresp) April 9, 2020
Ronaldinho and his brother are being investigated for alleged passport fraud.