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Caricature published in Funon journal_Damascus
Ronaldinho was born in Vila Nova, a poor suburb of Porto Alegre, Brazil. He was the youngest of three children. Ronaldinho's mother Miguelina is a former salesperson who later studied to become a nurse. His father João was a shipyard worker and footballer for Cruzeiro. The family moved to a more affluent district of Porto Alegre when Ronaldinho's older brother Roberto signed to play professional football for Grêmio. João died when Ronaldinho was 8, after suffering a heart attack while swimming in the family's pool. Injuries ended Roberto's career prematurely, and he now manages Ronaldinho. Ronaldinho's sister Deisi works as his press coordinato[Ronaldinho's son, named João after his father, was born on 25 February, 2005. João's mother is Janaína Nattielle Viana Mendes, a former dancer on the Brazilian television show Domingão do Faustão.5]
In his childhood, Ronaldinho's skill in football began to blossom due to his particular interest in futsal and beach football, which later developed into a fondness for more standardised football. His first brush with the media came after a 23 goal flurry against a local team, at just 13 years of age. His reputation as a footballer was built up through his childhood, particularly since he was identified as a rising star at the Egypt 1997 under-17 world championship. He scored two goals in the tournament, both penalty kicks
He is a huge fan of Brazilian music, and occasionally plays the drums and sings with friends in Barcelona.