Ronaldinho began his career with hometown club Gremio before leaving for a decade in Europe that brought him worldwide fame and success. And when he decided to return to Brazil after his time in Europe, he chose not to obey the pleas of Gremio fans and instead signed with wealthier Flamengo. This did not sit well with Gremio supporters.
On Sunday, Gremio hosted Flamengo and the fans were ready to welcome Ronaldinho home. With a very well organized chorus of hate. There were artistic banners like the one above depicting Ronaldinho as Judas and a mercenary and money obsessed. There were boos and chants that vocalized the same themes as the banners. And there were fake 100 reais notes with Ronaldinho's picture on them that were thrown like spiteful confetti.
Here's a taste of what Ronaldinho came home to...
Gremio fans were further satisfied with a 4-2 win over Flamengo and Ronaldinho, one of the Brasileiro's top scorers with 13 goals, earning just a yellow card in the 80th minute.
So there you go. Everybody loves Ronaldinho...except Gremio fans. This one seems to have some kind of love/hate relationship with him, though:
UPDATE: Here's a bit more on why Ronaldinho is so hated by Gremio fans from Ducker, who runs Gremio fan site Ducker.com.br:
In 2001, he said in various interviews that he wants to stay in Gremio for 2002 season. But he did it when he had already signed a pre-contract with PSG. He left Gremio and the club got ABSLUTELLY NO MONEY for the transaction. He and his brother (that Gremio fans hate even more) did it in a way he put all the money in his pocket. This is the mais reason for the hate of the fans. The negotiation that brought him to Flamengo (he was also negotiating with Gremio) just made it even worse.
Photos: Geral Do Gremio Facebook page