Ronaldinho: Brazilian football star arrested in Paraguay over fake passport claims

One of Brazil's most famous footballers Ronaldinho and his brother have been arrested in Paraguay after they allegedly used fake passports to enter the country.

The former Barcelona player and Roberto Assis, who is also his business manager, were taken by officers from a hotel in Asuncion to a police station on the outskirts of the capital.

On Saturday, they appeared in court and faced a judge who will decide whether to free the pair or keep them in custody while investigations continue.

The controversy began on Wednesday when the two were questioned by police after they allegedly showed falsified documents on arrival at Asuncion airport.

Federico Delfino, a prosecutor, said he believed the pair had been tricked into accepting Paraguayan passports when they landed in the country.

He recommended that because they had cooperated with officials they should be released after paying an alternative punishment, possibly a fine to a charity.

However, a judge rejected that suggestion and later the deal was called off by a senior public prosecutor.

Arrest warrants were then issued for the ex-Gremio, AC Milan and Paris St-Germain player and his sibling.

A lawyer for the sports star, who retired from football in 2018, has denied the allegations against the pair.

The brothers had been invited to Paraguay by a local casino owner and had arrived on Wednesday to take part in a football clinic for children and a book launch.

Ronaldinho, 39, reportedly had his Brazilian and Spanish passports confiscated in 2019 over unpaid taxes.

He was part of Brazil's 2002 World Cup-winning team and twice claimed the FIFA World Player of the Year award - in 2004 and 2005.