February 08, (THEWILL) – Joao Mendes, the 17-year-old son of iconic footballer, Ronaldinho, has joined Barcelona’s Academy after a successful trial in January.
Mendes had been playing for Brazilian side, Cruzeiro, but his contract was terminated in 2022 to allow him to participate in the trial at Barcelona. Despite initially failing to impress, Barcelona president, Joan Laporta, asked the club to be patient with the young player.
Ronaldinho, who is an ambassador at Barcelona, will increase his involvement at the club with his son’s arrival. The former attacking midfielder and wing player, who helped Brazil win the 2002 World Cup, is considered one of the most popular footballers of all time.
He played for Barcelona between 2003 and 2008 and won the Ballon d’Or in 2005-06 as the club achieved a league and Champions League double.
Answering queries about his son’s journey to Barca, Ronaldinho said: “Yes, he is coming now. I’m never out of the club. Barcelona is part of life. Wherever I go, I take Barcelona with me. With the arrival of my son at Barca, I’ll be more present than ever.”