RONALDINHO’S son has followed in his father’s footsteps by signing a contract with sportswear giants Nike. The Brazilian superstar was the face of the company when he was crowned the world’s best player in 2005.
And now Joao Mendes, 14, is ready to bolster his bank balance by signing his first contract with Nike.Teenager Mendes currently plays his football for Brazilian side Cruzeiro.
Ronaldinho revealed the news on social media with a picture of Mendes signing the contract.He wrote the caption: “The newest member of the @nike family!!! Football with joy!!”Joao’s mother, Ronaldinho’s ex Janaina Mendes, is also in the photo in what has been described in reports as a “rare” sighting of the three together.Joao, a forward like his father, signed his first professional contract with Cruzeiro in April this year and is seen as one of the brightest prospects in the Brazilian giants’ academy.When he first joined the club, Mendes kept the name of his father a secret to ensure he didn’t get any favourable treatment.Ronaldinho is regarded as one of the most talented players ever with a career which in took spells with Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan.
He featured in a series of famous Nike adverts including one where he appeared to repeatedly kick the ball off the crossbar whilst keeping it in the air.