Ronaldinho Gaucho

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Ronaldo de Assis Moreira was born 21 March 1980 in the city of Porto Alegre, the state capital of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. His mother, Dona Miguelina Elói Assis dos Santos (daughter of Enviro Assis), is a former salesperson who studied to become a nurse. His father, João de Assis Moreira, was a shipyard worker and footballer for local club Esporte Clube Cruzeiro (not to be confused with the larger Cruzeiro Esporte Clube). He suffered a fatal heart attack in the family swimming pool when Ronaldo was eight. After Ronaldo's older brother Roberto signed with Grêmio, the family moved to a home in the more affluent Guarujá section of Porto Alegre, which was a gift from Grêmio to convince Roberto to stay at the club, but Roberto's career was ultimately cut short by injury. Today, Roberto acts as his manager, while his sister Deisi works as his press coordinator. Ronaldo's football skills began to blossom at the age of eight, and he was first given the nickname "Ronaldinho" because he was often the youngest and the smallest player in youth club matches. He developed an interest in futsal and beach football, which later expanded to organized football. His first brush with the media came at the age of 13, when he scored all 23 goals in a 23–0 victory against a local team. Ronaldinho was identified as a rising star at the 1997 U-17 World Championship in Egypt, in which he scored two goals on penalty kicks.