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No agreement with Ronaldinho, says Brazilian far-right party
The Brazilian far-right party Patriota has denied any agreement with star footballer Ronaldinho after a claim that the 2002 World Cup winner was to be one of its candidates in the Senate elections next year.
“There is no agreement between the party and Ronaldinho to launch a bid for the latter for a Senate seat,” the party said.
Patriota is led by Jair Bolsonaro, who is dubbed the "Brazilian Donald Trump".
The former army captain is riding high in opinion polls ahead of next year’s presidential elections.
Brazilian newspaper O Globo’s website reported on Thursday that Ronaldinho was to run for a seat in the south-eastern state of Minas Gerais.
The report stated that Ronaldinho should formalise his registration as a party member in March. It showed a photograph of Ronaldinho with Bolsonaro, with the footballer holding a copy of a book by the politician.
Patriota’s president Adilson Barroso said that contacts with the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder could have been made by party members “at a local level” without confirming any agreement.
“He is not a member of our party but the door is open and it would be an honour to have him with us,” Barroso said.
If the 37-year-old plunges into politics, he will be following in the footsteps of other Brazilian World Cup winners like Romario, who is a senator since 2015 and Bebeto who is a member of the legislative assembly of the state of Rio de Janeiro since 2011.