The party-loving former Barcelona and AC Milan superstar, famed for his lavish birthday bashes, left a court hearing in handcuffs. He and his 49-year-old brother Roberto deny entering Paraguay with doctored passports.
His defence was dealt a blow when a businesswoman who fixed his book launch trip to the South American country failed to show up in court. It means Ronaldinho faces spending his 40th birthday tomorrow in a jail threatened by coronavirus.
His appeal against a judge’s decision to swap his jail remand for house arrest was knocked back last week and he was warned he could faced six months inside.
Ronaldinho, a star of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup winning side and one of the greatest ever footballers, is being held in a jail in the outskirts of Paraguayan capital Asuncion.
His birthday will be a far cry from others including his 26th when he partied until 6am at a Barcelona nightclub.
His 32nd, which lasted five days and cost tens of thousands of pounds, took place at a luxury hotel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.