Brazil and Barcelona legend, Ronaldinho has been ordered to stay under house arrest – but will reside in a presidential suite at a luxurious four-star hotel after being released from prison in Paraguay.
According to UK’s Daily Mail, Ronaldinho remains under investigation for passport fraud following his and his brother Roberto’s arrest on March 6 after allegedly entering Paraguay on fake passports that said they had Paraguayan citizenship.
They were facing a jail term of six months, but after reportedly paying a £1.3million bond, the 40-year-old has been put on house arrest at the Palmaroga hotel in the country’s capital of Asuncion.
And it appears only the best places in the city will do for the Brazilian, with the hotel’s presidential suite boasting its own balcony, 55 inch smart TV, as well as a whirlpool bath and spacious kitchenette.
Ronaldinho will also be receiving five-star room service, while his brother is believed to be in the executive suite, which is located two doors down from the presidential suite.
The hotel’s luxuries do not end their however, as built on its rooftoop is a beautiful swimming pool, while the bar serves vintage cocktails for guests.
The coronavirus crisis has meant that those communal areas are said to be out of action for the time being.
And the financial impact of the pandemic has also been shown, with the cost of the presidential suite for a night around £87-per-night, three times lower than the suite’s usual price with discounts being offered due to COVID-19.
The hotel as a whole is part of a 19th century building, and offers incredible views of the Bay of Asuncion.
Ronaldinho and his brother were granted permission to stay at the hotel for the mean time by judge Gustavo Amarilla, with his case still being decided and the player’s lawyers attempting to appeal the decision to jail him.
It had been argued that he should be spared from facing prison due to his high-profile status as a former footballer, with his legal team saying his detention was ‘arbitrary, abusive and illegal’.
Ronaldinho, who last played for Brazilian outfit Fluminense in 2015, denied using a forged passport, with the former World Cup winner insisting he didn’t know he had committed an offence.
His own lawyer Adolfo Marin said the former player had been ‘stupid’ and criticised the courts for not taking into account his mistake.
‘The courts have not taken into account the fact that Ronaldinho didn’t know he was committing a crime, because he didn’t understand he had been given false documents. He is stupid.’
Despite his fall from grace, Ronaldinho has been making the most of his time behind bars and was seen taking part in a football competition and helping his side win.
He recently turned 40 and had to spend his birthday in prison, but the prisoners ensured he still had a smile on his face as they baked him a cake and prepared him a barbecue.
He has struggled to stay away from the limelight as his career began to wind down – and mostly for the wrong reasons.
In 2015, he and his brother were convicted of illegally building a fishing trap at Lake Guaiba without proper licensing in a permanent preservation area.
The pair were handed a £6.9m fine in 2018 which so far remains unpaid, leading Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice to seize Ronaldinho’s passport. And financial worries came to light after he was stopped from selling 57 of his properties due to the outstanding debts.
And in 2018 he was dubbed sexist by some after he reportedly married two wives, with one of them leaving the former star, citing aggression and opened a legal case to take one third of his earnings from 2012 to 2018 after the pair failed to reach a separation agreement in private.
At the height of his football career he won one Ballon D’or and two FIFA World Player of the Year awards, clinching two LaLiga titles and a Champions League crown with Barcelona, and also lifted the World Cup with Brazil in 2002.