The rumor mill just won't leave Ronaldinho alone.
To recap, on April 15, Brazilian magazine Extra reported 'Dinho was retiring. Three days later, the soccer superstar himself was out in front of the press to deny that rumor. And then he scored two goals in a 10-minute cameo at Azteca to really make the whole retirement idea seem a little silly.
So he's not retiring. And he may be 35, but he's still good enough to do good things against good teams. Ronaldinho not retiring and scoring goals? That is a rumor mill klaxon.
No surprise therefore that the mill has churned out a new rumor: Ronaldinho is moving on to...Cruzeiro!
Globo.com reports that the Belo-Horizonte-based club has been offered 'Dinho's services in a deal that wouldn't kick in until the summer, since the Brazilian transfer window is closed and Ronaldinho is not a free agent. The rumor sort of adds up: Queretaro is wrapping up the Liga MX Clausura, and although 'Dinho was a hero in Azteca, he played no part in the team's most recent match, a 1-3 home loss to Tigres.
Maybe he is ready for a change of scenery?
Nope. Superesportes.com was quick to gather a retort from Ronaldinho's brother, Assis (incidentally, the owner of 'Dinho's hometown club, Porto Alegre), the man Globo claimed brokered the offer to Cruzeiro:
I never offered Ronaldinho. Has no contact. It has nothing. I'm in Porto Alegre. I am very surprised by the news. I did not talk to anyone
And the same outlet extracted the following comment from Cruzeiro club executive Valdir Barbosa:
For me it was not offered
No Cruzeiro for 'Dinho. Still time for the rumor mill to smile on the New York Red Bulls!
Or not. Superesportes (or at least Google Translate's version) insists both Assis and Barbosa were being evasive. And though the Brazilian press is not entirely convinced 'Dinho will be moving to Cruzeiro (the club is a rival of Atletico Mineiro, the last team Ronaldinho played for in Brazil), there is a recurring effort in Brazil to suggest he is coming home soon: Futbol Interior suggests Rio de Janeiro's Vasco da Gama is also in the hunt for his attention.
Doesn't seem as though the rumor mill is minded to permit one last Ronaldinho-to-RBNY rumor, but at least it's still working hard to make it seem like he's going somewhere. And until or unless he actually does move, that means there is still ample time for the mill to work its way round to the Red Bulls.
UPDATE: The first tentative steps toward a full-fledged Dinho-to-MLS rumor have been taken. Goal.com is reporting the league is on Assis's radar as a potential destination for his brother.