By 90Min
April 09, 2019

Cruzeiro have announced the signing of Ronaldinho's 14-year-old son Joao Mendes, on a contract until the day before his 20th birthday.

The club announced the news that the player had signed an agreement last Friday and their Director of Grassroots Football, Amarildo Ribeiro, revealed they expect him to be a part of their first team squad in the coming years.

Ribeiro, speaking to the club's official website, said: "Today, we signed the contract of João Mendes who, I believe, will soon be integrating [into] our professional team.

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"He is a player that has a good physical size, a high technical quality. A player who can play both as an area player and as a second striker. He is a player who, even with the big size, has speed and finishes very well."

Mendes has been at the club for the past year but did not reveal he was the son of one of Brazil's greatest ever players until after he had joined them.

Despite having a father who played for some of the greatest clubs in Europe, the young attacker revealed he was delighted to start his professional journey with the South American side.

Upon signing his contract, Mendes said: "It is a dream that one day I can sign the professional contact with Cruzeiro, I have a great affection for the club.

"It's the biggest club in Brazil and it's a pleasure to play here. It's a very happy day."

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Like his son, Ronaldinho also began his career in Brazil, spending his first three years as a professional at Gremio, before spending 10 years in Europe with Paris Saint Germain, Barcelona and AC Milan, during which time he won three league titles and the Champions League with Barca in 2006.


The World Cup winner then ended his career back in his homeland, retiring in 2015 while with Fluminense following spells at Flamengo, Atletico Mineiro and Mexican side Queretaro.

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