Ronaldinho has gotten his contract with Flamengo terminated by a Brazilian labor court over almost $20 million in unpaid wages. He is now free to sign with another club after scoring 29 goals in 72 matches for Flamengo since signing in January 2011.
The reasons for the termination were four months of unpaid wages, a justification accepted by the judge.
The player's advisors will now pursue the unpaid wages through other means, whilst Ronaldinho has officially left the club.
Ronaldinho' termination follows an escalation in the arguments between the player and the club over a lack of professionalism, and for the club's part, unpaid wages.
Flamengo, which tried to suspend Ronaldinho for failing to attend training on Wednesday and missing a team flight, will appeal the court's ruling, according to Globo. In January, Ronaldinho's agent/brother claimed five months of unpaid wages amounting to just $2 million and blamed Traffic, the marketing group that was supposed to pay three-quarters of his salary for Flamengo. The issue was resolved when Flamengo agreed to eliminate Traffic and pay Ronaldinho's full salary themselves. But that apparently didn't happen.
Now that he's free, it will be interesting to see where Ronaldinho goes. There's been longstanding interest in MLS and there will probably be big-money offers from Russia and China, but staying in Brazil might give him the best hope (however realistic it is) of once again finding a place in the national team.
- Sports & Recreation