Ronaldinho’s son ‘hid his identity’ during trial so nobody knew who his dad was

Ronaldinho's son once hid his identity during a trial so that nobody knew his dad was the 2005 Ballon d'Or winner.

Joao Mendes de Assis Moreira, 17, may possess the genes of one of the most skilful players to have ever graced the beautiful game but he kept his lineage to himself when trying out for Brasileiro outfit Cruzeiro as a 13-year-old.

According to Brazilian periodical Globo Esporte, the teenager "charmed the scouts" on the east coast with his quick feet and eye for goal but they had no idea that the young centre-forward was the only child of national hero Ronaldinho.

READ MORE: Ronaldinho's son, 17, joining Barcelona after successfully passing his Nou Camp trial

Though the scouts clearly saw enough in Mendes to offer him a contract and he moved into their academy set up once his mother, ex-dancer Janaina Natielle Mendes, gave her seal of approval.

A year later, in 2019, he penned a six-year deal at Cruzeiro and also bagged two goals in a China-based youth tournament. He left in February 2022 to pursue opportunities elsewhere but spent a year without a club before blagging a trail at the home of Ronaldinho's former employers.

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Mendes, though, failed to impress during his 10 days with Barcelona's Under-19 side, relying on club president Joan Laporta, who just so happens to be a long-time friend of Ronaldinho, to request an extension of the trial for further technical analysis.

The young Brazilian then started to come out of his shell and will now link up with the Spanish giants' famed La Masia academy on a permanent basis. Uncle and agent Roberto de Assis facilitated the move before Ronaldinho confirmed the transfer to the press.

"Yes he is coming now," the World Cup winner told RAC1. "I'm never out of the club. Barcelona is part of life. Wherever I go I take Barcelona with me. With the arrival of my son at Barca I'll be more present than ever."


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