Free Press Journal

Ronaldinho off to winning start for Fluminense



Rio De Janiero:  Two-time FIFA World Player of the Year winner Ronaldinho helped Fluminense to a 1-0 win over Gremio in his first match for the Brazil club. The 35-year-old played the full 90 minutes at the Maracana stadium on Saturday, despite having only begun training with his new team mates on July 27.

Playing in a free-roaming forward role, the former Barcelona star was involved in most of the home team’s best scoring chances. He started the move that led to Fluminense’s goal in the 77th minute when his long pass was flicked on by Wellington Paulista, before Marcos Junior rounded the goalkeeper and fired into an empty net. Gremio were reduced to 10 men just after half-time when Wallace was shown a second yellow card for a bad foul on Junior. Ronaldinho praised his team mates and admitted he was surprised to play the entire game. “It was my first match here and I wanted to win,” Ronaldinho said. “Now I want to work hard to recuperate my physical fitness.”