Former Brazilian football star, Ronadinho Gaucho has been appointed the country’s tourism ambassador despite a ban on him not to travel outside the country owing to unpaid environmental fine of £6.9m.

Spanish publication, Tribuna, published that the 39-year old was onThursday, announced by Brazil’s Travel and Tourism Institute as the country’s new Tourism Ambassador.

The organisation’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations Osvaldo Matos de Melo Junior has commented on the news:

“You take the case of Ronaldinho, a person who has almost 100m followers in his networks and voluntarily helps us at no cost for patriotism. This attitude is invaluable.

“Just by issuing a visa to countries like the United States and Canada, we have already had over 200 per cent increase in demand for our country. We will increasingly invest, even in intelligence, to achieve our goals.”

The 2002 World Cup winner has also briefly reacted to the new role: “Tourism is very important for generating jobs and regaining our image internationally.”

The curious part here is that Ronaldinho is not allowed to leave Brazil at the moment. The 39-year-old’s passport was seized due to several debts including an unpaid environmental fine.

The former Barcelona playmaker and his brother were found guilty of illegally building a fishing trap at Lake Guaiba without having a necessary licence. A £6.9m fine the duo received in 2018 is still unpaid.

Ronaldinho was part of the Blaugrana team in the period between 2003 and 2008. In five seasons at Camp Nou, the Brazilian magician made 207 appearances, scoring 94 goals and winning five trophies, including two La Liga titles and a Champions League.

In 2005, one of the most unique artists in the history of the game claimed the most prestigious individual award in football – the Ballon d’Or as the undisputedly best player of the year.

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