Barcelona To Distance Themselves From Ronaldinho And Rivaldo Over Right Wing Politics
Brazil and Barcelona legends Ronaldinho and Rivaldo look set to have their roles as ambassadors for the club scaled back following their controversial backing of a right wing politician in their country.
They say you shouldn't meet your heroes because there's every chance that they could let you down. You don't want to idolise someone only to find out they aren't very nice, although that can happen even if you don't meet them.
Every football team has their heroes. It could be a current player, an ex player that helped your team to win trophy after trophy or even a cult hero who is loved but not for the usual reasons.
Barcelona has a long list of them. In the current era alone there's the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Carles Puyol, Dani Alves and Gerard Pique, to name but a few.
Before then Ronaldinho and Rivaldo were definitely heroes of the club, even if they played in a slightly less successful period for the Catalan club, especially Rivaldo.
Both have continued to represent the club as ambassadors but that could be set to end. According to SPORT the club are ready to distance themselves from the pair as the former players have backed Brazilian presidential right wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro has been accused of racism, misogyny and homophobia and has been named by some as the 'Brazilian Donald Trump.'
Ronaldinho has called for people to back the right wing candidate whilst his fellow Brazilian Rivaldo also backs Bolsonaro.
Those views are in essence in complete opposition to Barca's political stance and the views within the club. They don't want to publicly come out against their two former players so will merely reduce their roles as ambassadors.
Bolsonaro currently has 59% of the popular vote in Brazil whilst his left-leaning opponent Fernando Haddad has just 41% of the popular vote.
The two forwards didn't play together at the Camp Nou with Rivaldo leaving in 2002 and Ronaldinho signing from PSG in 2003.
The pair did play together for the national team team though and won the Copa America in 1999 and World Cup in 2002.