Former Barcelona star Ronaldinho adopted Lionel Messi as his younger brother, revealed club legend Xavi. Ronaldinho and Messi played alongside each other at Barcelona for four years. The duo is thought to be very close both on and off the field. Xavi’s statements have now confirmed the same.
Barcelona legend Xavi claimed that he saw a family bond between Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi and Deco. Xavi revealed that when Messi, then a 16-year-old, started training with the first-team squad, Ronaldinho was 26. The Brazilian magician adopted the 16-year-old as his younger brother, said Xavi.
Xavi claimed that Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi shared a great relationship in the dressing room. The Brazilian played an important role in helping a young Messi adapt to the first team. Ronaldinho was the best player in the world at that time, and hence, he had a wider impact on the youngster, said Xavi.
Ronaldinho joined Barcelona in 2004 and enjoyed great success with the Spanish giants. He won two LaLiga titles with Barcelona along with a Champions League triumph in 2006. The former Brazilian international then joined AC Milan after four successful seasons in Spain.
Ronaldinho has been in a Paraguayan prison for the past one month. The Brazilian was arrested for entering Paraguay along with his elder brother using a fake passport. He is likely to stay behind bars for the next five months. The Paraguayan authorities are also investigating allegations of Ronaldinho's involvement in money laundering.