KEY POINTS

  • Messi and Ronaldinho played together at Barca between 2004 and 2008
  • Messi's advisers have said that the soccer star won't play $3.7m legal fees for Ronaldinho
  • Ronaldinho was arrested for using fake passports for entering Paraguay

Lionel Messi reportedly has denied that he would be helping his former FC Barcelona teammate Ronaldinho by paying $3.7 million to bail him out of a Paraguay jail.

Earlier, Ronaldinho and his brother were arrested two days after entering Paraguay for using false passports and documents. Ever since they have been in an Asuncion jail and their latest appeal to change that into a house arrest was rejected as the judged feared the duo could flee the country.

Messi and Ronaldinho played together for Barca from 2004 to 2008 before the Brazilian moved to Italy’s AC Milan. There have been rumors about Messi planning to get his former teammate and good friend, Ronaldinho, out of the jail.

However, Messi’s advisers recently confirmed that Messi sympathizes with Ronaldinho but he was not going to pay the alleged legal fees of $3.7m to help the Brazilian superstar, who has been warned that he could be behind the bars for another six months.

According to news reports, Ronaldinho's lawyer admitted that the two had unintentionally used fake passports "gifted" to them by a businessman. They supposedly believed that these passports were an "honorary" document with no value and that Ronaldinho by mistake pulled it out of his bag instead of his real passport.

Earlier some reports suggested the former Barca legend and his brother had been stripped of their documents by the Brazilian authorities over unpaid debts but the Paraguayan prosecutors later found out that the original documents were returned to the duo and they had used their real passport when they left Brazil.

Lionel Messi scored the winner as Barcelona beat Granada on Sunday in Quique Setien's first game in charge. Lionel Messi scored the winner as Barcelona beat Granada on Sunday in Quique Setien's first game in charge. Photo: AFP / LLUIS GENE

Ronaldinho made his first-team debut in 1998 with the Brazilian soccer club, Grêmio, with whom he was associated until 2001. He then moved to French League after he signed with PSG where he played for two years having scored 17 goals in 55 caps. Ronaldinho’s big jump happened in 2003 when FC Barcelona signed him. He was a part of the Nou Camp family for five long years where he netted 70 times in as many as 145 appearances. AC Milan was his final European club and he played for them between 2008 and 2011.

The striker played professional soccer for another four years but he officially announced retirement only in 2018.