Ronaldinho has no plans to retire and is studying offers, says brother
Ronaldinho's brother and agent has dismissed any talk of the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year retiring and said he is "carefully studying the offers that are coming in."
Brazil legend Ronaldinho, 35, was released by Fluminense on Monday after just two months and nine matches at the Rio de Janeiro club.
However, any speculation that the former Barcelona star -- who won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002 -- would take this setback as his cue to end his playing career was ruled out by his older brother and agent.
Asked about the prospect of Ronaldinho's retirement, Roberto Assis told Brazilian newspaper Folha De S. Paulo: "Are you crazy? No chance, you'll have more surprises yet.
"He has to be happy on the field and feel good about himself. He has an advantage over many others in that he has never suffered from a serious injury. And while he still has that spark then great."
Corinthians USA, an California-based amateur side which plays in the fifth-tier Coast soccer League, said on Tuesday that they had made an enquiry about bringing Ronaldinho to the club, which Assis confirmed.
"Yes it is, he has friends there," he said. "There are a lot of [other proposals] coming up."
Ronaldinho moved back to his native Brazil following a season at Mexican club Queretaro. Despite his client's spell at Fluminense ending early in disappointment, Assis insists the split was amicable.
"It was a wonderful experience, the club did everything [to make it work], and the player too," he said. "Unfortunately things did not go the way that Ronaldinho wanted. It was a cool-headed decision. He did not give the league what they wanted. When you aren't on a roll, it is best to stop. Nothing negative happened."
Assis said the decision to leave was Ronaldinho's and said that his brother had not expected to play immediately. The club had been toward the top of the league table when Ronaldinho arrived in July but Assis said there were problems within.
"There were two really important things here: He arrived in the middle of the season after spending two months idle and the club were having huge troubles with the team," Assis told the newspaper.
"Two days later they had him debut. He did, he gave it his all, even though he wasn't prepared. Ronaldinho's goal had been to be ready for the next season, but sadly in Brazil, everything has to be right away. Their expectation was overnight results. And Ronaldo didn't want to go through with it.
"The poor results of the club had nothing to do with Ronaldinho's arrival. Everyone knew that was going to happen. He was not contracted because things were going well.
"If everything had been going well, they would never have contracted him. Everyone knows that they were lacking. They were having trouble making team play work. That immediate worry interfered with the end goal."
Assis added that, had Ronaldinho arrived at the beginning of the season, the situation would have been different.
"You can only compare people under equal conditions," he said. "Any other player who would have arrived in the middle [of the season] would also have had the same difficulties."
Asked whether Ronaldinho will consider another club, Assis was coy: "This is not the best time to discuss it. We will calmly evaluate the projects of each club. The clubs are the ones who need to decide what they want to do."
However, he did say that he was awaiting offers from other leagues, but that Ronaldinho is happy right now to take his time and consider his options: "There are a lot of facets. We will evaluate when we have something in our hands."
Assis also bristled at questions about his brother's fitness.
"That's a stupid question," he said. "These are people who are listening to stories and not the truth. He was training with a team, how would he not be taking care of himself? He was doing the same training as all the other athletes. And why question Ronaldo? Do you think he couldn't?"