Ronaldinho dismisses ex-teammate Fred’s criticism

Orlando, Jan 16 (IANS) Ronaldinho has brushed off criticism from former Brazil teammate Fred on the eve of the Florida Cup friendly football tournament.

Both players will represent Fluminense in the eight-team competition despite the fact that Ronaldinho is no longer an official part of the club’s squad, reports Xinhua.

The 35-year-old left the Rio de Janeiro outfit by mutual consent in October 2015 after failing to score or provide an assist in nine matches. His return for the Florida Cup honours a clause written into the attacker’s contract when he joined Fluminense in July.

In an interview in November, Fred said Ronaldinho’s participation in the tournament was “not a good idea”. Ronaldinho refused to be drawn into a war of words with the striker on Friday.

“Everybody is entitled to their opinion,” he said.

The two-time FIFA World Player of the Year ruled out a permanent return to Fluminense and said he would make a decision about his future in the coming weeks. When asked if he planned to return to a top-level European club, the playmaker replied: “Let’s see, I can’t say.”

Fluminense will debut in the tournament against Shakhtar Donetsk on Sunday. The competition also features Internacional (Brazil), Atletico Mineiro (Brazil), Corinthians (Brazil), Schalke 04 (Germany), Bayer Leverkusen (Germany), Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine) and Santa Fe (Colombia).

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