Ronaldinho is ‘ready to help’ Chapecoense in the wake of their tragic plane crash this week.
The Brazilian legend is a free agent and could now be set to turn out for the devastated club despite having been tipped to retire.
Chapecoense lost 19 players when their aircraft went down while travelling to Colombia for the equivalent of the Europa League final against Atletico Nacional.
There’s been an outpouring of grief from the football community, with English teams holding a minute’s silence before the EFL Cup matches on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Teams in the Champions League will make a similar gesture next week, while a number of sides in Brazil have offered to loan Chapecoense players in order to keep the club going.
And Ronaldinho could now sensationally step in after an internet campaign called on the Selecao legend to make Chapecoense his new home.
While Ronaldinho is yet to confirm his intentions, brother Roberto Assis made it clear the veteran is determined to help out.
He said: “Everyone is still shaken, it is a very difficult time. It depends on us to help. I do not know if it would just be a game or permanent. If there’s contact later we can talk. I can only say that we are here and we want to help.
“Ronaldinho’s name was mentioned because he’s loved and without a club. He fits the profile and can be the right guy. But at the moment we want to help families. As Brazilians, we feel involved. We are together.”
It would spell the end of a potential MLS move for Ronaldinho, who has gained a nomadic reputation since leaving Barcelona.
But he could be joined at Chapecoense by another legend – a certain Juan Roman Riquelme.
The Argentine playmaker has retired from the game after cementing his place in Villarreal folklore and is apparently ready to play for free for at least a year.
Meanwhile, Chapecoense will continue to go ahead with their final league game of the season on December 11, with Atletico Mineiro the opponents.
It is sure to coincide with more vigils and memorials from around the world as people try to make sense of the tragedy.
The remaining Chapecoense players paid their respects during an emotional ceremony on Wednesday night, with the 71 victims also including coaches, journalists and crew members.
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