Former Brazilian international and two-time FIFA Player of the Year Ronaldinho has long been linked with a move to the United States to write the final chapter of his career in America like so many other legendary players before him.
Except it might not be Major League Soccer.
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers, an ambitious club in the North American Soccer League that boasts an ownership with deep pockets, has expressed interest in pursuing the ex-Barcelona star at the recent NASL owner meetings, a league source told Yahoo Sports. It is believed that the Strikers have reached out to Ronaldinho's representation.
The Strikers made it the semifinals of the recently concluded NASL playoffs, which were won for the second time in three years by the New York Cosmos. The NASL is the second division of pro soccer in the U.S., one rung below MLS.
A move for Ronaldinho, while pricey, makes some sense. The Strikers are owned by a Brazilian conglomerate headed by principal owner Paulo Cesso and one that includes Ronaldo, the former Brazilian international and two-time World Cup winner. The club over the years has featured a number of Brazilian players, including Romario when he suited up for Miami FC, the predecessor to the Strikers.
The 35-year old Ronaldinho was one of the greatest players of his generation, winning FIFA's top individual honor in 2004 and 2005 while starring for Barcelona. But in recent years, he has bounced around several clubs with great fanfare but little success, including a stop in Mexico with Queretaro.
Ronaldinho's contract with Brazilian club Fluminense was terminated in September. According to a report last week, he was contemplating a move to MLS or Qatar.