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Jul 28, 2014

Ronaldinho leaves Atletico Mineiro

The Brazilian playmaker is moving on to another challenge.

Ronaldinho has left Atletico Mineiro to become a free agent after both parties agreed to terminate his contract with immediate effect.

Ronaldinho, 34, helped the side to win the Recopa Sudamericana on Wednesday with a 5-3 aggregate victory over Argentina's Lanus -- before being substituted early in the second half -- but said his goodbyes to his teammates according to striker Jô.

"I didn't speak with him after the (Recopa) win, but everything indicates that it was his last match," Jô told Globoesporte. "The way he said goodbye to everybody gave that impression."

The two-time FIFA World Player of the Year wrote on his Twitter feed: "Galo (Atletico Mineiro) will always be in my heart." Also, during a week off, he failed to arrive for Deco's testimonial in Lisbon after reportedly missing his flight.

Ronaldinho will now be a free agent, with his next move subject to much speculation. However his brother and agent suggested that fans will not have to wait long to find out where the legendary Brazilian will end up.

Atletico confirmed the news, with coach Levir Culpi insisting that the club must now move on.

"I can't call on Ronaldinho anymore," Culpi told SporTV. "His cycle with us has ended.

"It's unfortunate because he's an idol to all of us. Everyone loves his football, the way he plays and he's a very charismatic person. But that's the way it goes. He's leaving and we must move on without him."

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