Former world footballer for the year Ronaldinho has set his sights on a new career after announcing his intention to stand in the Brazilian general elections, scheduled to be held this October.

The ex-Barcelona and Brazil playmaker will stand for the Brazilian Republic Party (PRB), a group with strong Right-leaning tendencies. It is the second time the 37-year-old has been linked with a Right-wing group, having previously aligned himself with populist presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro.

The PRB hope that bringing on board a name that carries such weight as Ronaldinho’s, and which still resonates with many Brazilians, will strengthen their position considerably ahead of the October vote.

Federal deputy Carlos Gomes highlighted the arrival of Ronaldinho as a possible turning point for the CRB. “I want to mention the happiness of being here at this historic moment for the PRB. This PRB no. 10 shirt will fit you like a glove,” he said.

The event also included Ronaldinho’s brother, Roberto de Assis, who is also affiliated with the party. “We are Brazilian, we live in Brazil and we are worried about our country. It is an enormous pleasure to believe in something that will help our population,” Mr Assis said.

Ronaldinho follows fellow ex-Brazil international Romario into politicsCredit:

The first round of voting in this year’s general election is set to take place on October 7, with a second round slated for October 28 if necessary. This will be one of the most crucial votes in Brazil’s democratic history, after the country has been plunged into an economic and political crisis in recent years.

The strain of hosting the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games has taken the country’s finances close to breaking point. Then-president Dilma Rousseff was impeached in 2016 to be replaced by Michel Temer. However, Temer’s approval ratings have since sunk to an all-time low as the nation struggles to dig itself out of recession.

Meanwhile, another Brazilian World Cup winner, Romário, has announced his intention to stand for the position of Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro this year. His decision was announced on March 17 at the Clube Municipal in the northern Rio neighbourhood of Tijuca. In a brief speech, Romário admitted to not having administrative experience while recognising that the situation in the state is “chaotic”. 

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