Friday, June 01, 2012

Jack Lang in Brazil: Ronaldinho out of form, out of pocket

"You're not paying my brother," exclaimed Assis, sibling and agent of a certain Ronaldinho, as he pushed a trolley full of merchandise towards the exit of the Flamengo club shop. "So I'm not paying either." An hour and a half later, after frantic discussions with Fla's director of finance Michel Levy, Assis left the store with 25 free shirts - the number to which Levy was entitled through his role at the club. Brilliantly, this didn't quite satisfy the 41-year-old Assis, who grabbed - and proceeded to pay for - two towels emblazoned with his brother's image before storming out.

If this story sounds apocryphal, you don't know Flamengo Football Club. The Rio de Janeiro outfit - the best-supported team in Brazil - has become known for this sort of kitchen sink drama in recent times. This year, however, has been particularly fraught, and Ronaldinho has been at the centre of it all.

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