Joan Laporta: Ronaldinho’s son Joao Mendes will join Barcelona


Youngster Joao Mendes is set to join Barcelona and will be hoping to mark a similarly remarkable impact to that of his famous father.

Joao Mendes – the son of Barcelona legend Ronaldinho – will join the Blaugrana following a successful trial, club president Joan Laporta has confirmed.

Former Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldinho had a successful five-year spell with Barca between 2003 and 2008, helping the Catalan giants win two LaLiga titles and the Champions League, and is now the club’s ambassador.

His 17-year-old son, who previously played for Corinthians, had the chance to follow in his father’s footsteps by leaving Cruzeiro to start a trial with the Blaugrana.

“We are delighted that Ronaldinho and his brother [Roberto Assis] are considering continuing their son’s career at Barça,” said Laporta.

“He is very young and he is training with us, but we are going to replace him. There are some things that have worked out, but we are very happy with him.

“The pressure on the boy is huge because Ronaldinho is one of the best in history. There is pressure on the boy, but it is our coach’s job to develop his skills.”

Meanwhile, director of football Mateu Alemany said he is confident the club will sign Julian Araujo, who narrowly missed out on landing the LA Galaxy defender in the January transfer window.

“He is a long-time follower who could not be closed because of the situation – the failure of the FIFA system.”

“The famous 18 seconds. He is a second team player. We are looking for a solution, CAS [Court of Arbitration for Sport] or for the next five months to play for another team and then join.”

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