Lionel Messi is said to have offered $4million to help release Ronaldinho from Paraguayan jail following news of the Brazilian’s arrest last week, according to reports.
Ronaldinho, 39, was arrested by authorities for travelling with a fake passport, while he is also allegedly under investigation for additional crimes.
The Brazil legend is thought to have travelled to the South American country on the invitation of a casino owner and was planning to take part in a children’s soccer clinic and to launch his book ‘Genius of Life’.
After being taken by police, a judge denied Ronaldinho and his brother house arrest due to fears that they would try to escape the country amid a media frenzy.
And it is now reported that Messi is planning to help his friend in the upcoming legal battle by hiring four lawyers to take his case, costing up to $4m.
The two have been close ever since Messi, 32, came through the ranks at Barcelona and developed under Ronaldinho’s guidance.
The Argentinian’s first goal for the Catalan club was assisted by Ronaldinho in 2005, the year the latter won the Ballon d’Or.
Ronaldinho is currently incarcerated at the Agrupacion Especializada in Asuncion and took part in a futsal tournament at the prison last week.
Paraguayan outlet ABC report that Ronaldinho led his team to an 11-2 victory in the final of the tournament, contributing five goals and six assists in the rout.
He will return to court next Tuesday and it remains to be seen whether reports will be proved correct and Messi will come to the aid of his former friend and teammate.
Two appeals have so far been rejected to release Ronaldinho and his brother on bail or to house arrest, while 16 people are being investigated with the fake passport scandal.
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