I’d rather avoid the subject altogether, but I guess I owe you a line or two on Ronaldinho. As you all know, he signed for Flamengo earlier this week. The negotiations between Ronaldinho’s brother/agent A$$is and the three clubs interested in the midfielder were nothing short of embarrassing; Grêmio, Flamengo and Palmeiras took turns going that extra mile to secure the contract, only to face new demands and new rounds of negotiations. By week two of the “auction” for the player, I was already hoping he wouldn’t sign for Palmeiras, even if it meant losing out on extra money brought into the club by marketing and increased sales.
I could be wrong, but I believe Ronaldinho’s image has suffered irreversible damage. He came out as lame, greedy and decadent. Especially his attitude against his former club Grêmio – fuelling dreams and then shattering them without any trace of concern – was despicable. Any sympathy I might have nourished for him is gone. Ronaldinho is (was?) a great player. He’s clearly not a great man.
Thiago Heleno, 22 years old, has joined Palmeiras’ squad. The quick defender started his career at Cruzeiro, passed shortly through Corinthians and today belongs to Deportivo Maldonado from Uruguay. Thiago is with Palmeiras on loan, contract ending in December 2012. He has served in the national sub-15, sub-17 and sub-20 squads.
The winger Cicinho is also on loan to Palmeiras, but only until December 2011. 24 years old, he started his career at Ituano in 2007. He has also played for Oeste and Santo André.
Maikon Leite is a third reinforcement but he might arrive only in June, depending on negotiations with Santos to relieve him earlier. The 22 year old striker played for Atlético/PR last season and was one of the highlights in the Brasileirão.
Finally, there’s Adriano ‘Michael Jackson’, a striker who was negotiated with Fluminense as part of the deal involving Edinho’s move to the carioca club. Adriano played for Bahia last season and made quite a number of goals in the state championship.
The São Paulo state championship kicks off tomorrow, with Palmeiras playing against Botafogo/SP. Good luck, Verdão!