MEXICO CITY, December 24 – Two-time world footballer of the year Ronaldinho has been threatened with the sack if he doesn’t return as soon as possible to his Mexican club Queretaro, the team’s president said on Tuesday.
The 34-year-old Brazilian — a member of the 2002 World Cup winning side and world player of the year in 2004 and 2005 — has not returned as he said he would a fortnight ago for pre-season training having been allowed to go to the United States and Brazil to put his personal affairs in order after the end of the previous campaign.
The first match is on January 11 but Queretaro began their pre-season training on December 8 and have played several friendlies without being graced by the presence of the former Paris Saint Germain, Barcelona and AC Milan star.
Club president Arturo Villanueva — who was credited with pulling off a coup for the unfashionable Mexican side by persuading the Brazilian to sign for them in September — said that if Ronaldinho does not appear in the next week he would prefer ‘to take on someone else’.
Joaquin Beltran. the club’s sporting director, said that Ronaldinho — who in his nine games for Queretaro scored three goals and set up one other — did not enjoy special status.
“If Ronaldinho does not come back in the next week, we will take a decision,” said Beltran.
“He has already missed a large part of the pre-season and nobody is above the institution.”