BARCELONA SPAIN - AUGUST 25: Ronaldinho of AC Milan and formerly of Barcelona gives away his boots to a fan at the Joan Gamper Trophy match between Barcelona and AC Milan at Camp Nou stadium on August 25 2010 in Barcelona Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Ronaldinho To Rio: Former World Player Of The Year Leaves Milan For Flamengo

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Ronaldinho Set To Return To Brazil, Leaves Milan For Flamengo

Good thing it wasn't all about the money, right? One week after telling Globo Esporte that, if he had his way, he would have already returned to Grêmio, Ronaldinho has signed with the club that claimed to have made the most lucrative offer. Granted, Flamengo wasn't the only club claiming to be offering the most real for the former World Player of the Year, but they were most believable. In that vein it's no surprise the Gaúcho is set to move from Milan to the Maracanã, which doesn't make today's news any less disappointing.

The idea of Ronaldinho's exit from Europe became romantic when he was again set to become Imortal, but moving to Flamengo is just another move. While it's great to see somebody as talented as Ronaldinho moving back to Brazil, selecting Flamengo makes him little different than any other player returning home. He is Ronaldinho, true, so this is more like Ronaldo or Roberto Carlos's return. Which is to say, we've seen this before and recently.

Ronaldinho returning home to Grêmio would have been different. Ronaldo didn't return to Cruziero, and Roberto Carlos didn't go back to Internazionale, let alone Uniaoõ São João. Ronaldinho not only could have gone back to Grêmio, but the move was plausible. Ronaldinho had already said that he was willing to reduce his wages. Grêmio is Copa Libertadores qualified. It's not just his first club. It's his home town club.

But instead of Porto Alegre, Ronaldinho is set to take his talents to Rio de Janiero, signing with Flamengo through 2014.. Perhaps Grêmio's the next stop - the last stop - but for those of us who already had Ronaldinho back in the Tricolor, the latest affirmation of money over romance stings, if only slightly.


Report: Ronaldinho Signs With Home Town Club Gremio

Ronaldinho has signed, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport (says The Telegraph), but not for Blackburn. After also been connected to Palmeiras, Flamengo and (late on Tuesday) Corinthians, Ronaldinho Gaucho has returned home, apparently set for a move to Porto Alegre and his his first club, Grêmio. Gazzetta, announcing the news at 1:21 p.m. Eastern time, claim Ronaldinho's brother-agent Robert de Assís had formalized an agreement with the Brazilian club.

Grêmio finished fourth in last year's Campeonato Brasileirao Serie A, winning five of their last six league matches to qualify for this year's Copa Libertadores. Ronalindho debuted in the tournament in 1998 as an 18 year old, eventually leaving the club for Paris St. Germain in 2001.

After stops in Barcelona and Milan, the two-time World Player of the Year is set to return to Brazil, though official announcements from Grêmio and Milan are pending. This season for Milan, Ronaldinho had made 13 all-competition appearances, scoring once.

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