The Telegraph
Saturday , August 30 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Ronaldinho set to join Chennai franchise


New Delhi: The Chennai franchise in the Indian Super League (ISL), co-owned by Abhishek Bachchan, is set to finalise a two-year deal with Brazilian star Ronaldinho, sources claimed.

The 34-year-old attacking midfielder, who played a key role in Brazil’s last World Cup triumph in 2002, has reportedly agreed to play the franchise based tournament for two seasons for a whopping amount of Rs 36 crore.

“The management of the Chennai team was in touch with Ronaldinho’s brother and agent Roberto de Assis for the past few days. They have agreed on lots of things and a final shape to the agreement would be given in the next few days,” said the source.

Considered one of the world’s finest footballers till a few years ago, Ronaldinho is likely to be the marquee player of the Chennai team. After his successful stints with Barcelona and AC Milan, he currently plays for Brazilian side, Atletico Mineiro.

This, however, would not be Ronaldinho’s maiden visit to India as he had been spotted in Pune a couple of years ago. At that time, he was rumoured to be on the verge of finalising a deal with Venky-owned Blackburn Rovers, but it did not materialise.

On Friday, Delhi Dynamos announced they had finalised a deal with renowned Italian star Alessandro Del Piero. The 39-year-old Italian, considered one of the greatest players in recent years, won every tournament he had played for the club and the country in a career spanning over 20 years.

“It’s really exciting to be coming to India and playing for the capital of the country. I am looking forward to train with my team-mates and work together with the coach and the club,” said the Italian.