Joao Mendes, the son of Barcelona legend Ronaldinho, has followed in his father’s footsteps and signed for the club. The 18-year-old striker joined the Catalan giants after being on trial since January. Mendes was previously at Brazilian side Cruzerio before his contract was terminated. He is said to possess some of the same silky skills his dad was famous for, but he is a striker rather than an attacking midfielder.
Ronaldinho, who currently works as an ambassador for the club, has legendary status at the Nou Camp after an incredible five seasons there. The Brazil icon played 207 times, contributing 94 goals and 70 assists. He helped them win two LaLiga titles and one Champions League trophy. He was also crowned the 2005 Ballon d’Or winner while at Barca.
On his son’s move, Ronaldinho said via Marca: “Yes he is coming now. I’m never out of the club. Barcelona is part of life. Wherever I go I take Barcelona with me. With the arrival of my son at Barca I’ll be more present than ever.”
Mendes, whose career has been overseen by his uncle Roberto de Assis Moreira, is a left-footed forward that can play anywhere along the front line. He signed a contract on Thursday and will now join the iconic La Masia academy, which is responsible for nurturing talent like Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Gavi and current manager Xavi. According to ESPN, his deal is expected to run until the summer of 2024 – where Barca will then assess whether to extend his stay.
The signing of Mendes is seen as a coup for Barcelona, who are looking to rebuild after a disappointing season that saw them finish third in LaLiga and crash out of the Champions League in the last 16. The club has been investing heavily in its youth academy in recent years, with a focus on developing homegrown talent rather than relying on expensive transfers.
Barcelona’s youth academy, La Masia, has produced some of the world’s best players over the years, including Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi. The club is hoping that Mendes will be the next star to emerge from its ranks.
Mendes’ signing has also generated excitement among Barcelona fans, who are eager to see what the young striker can do on the pitch. With his father’s legacy to live up to, Mendes will be under pressure to perform, but he has already shown that he has the talent to succeed at the highest level.
In addition to his footballing abilities, Mendes is also known for his fashion sense and has been featured in several magazines and fashion campaigns. He is expected to become a major brand ambassador for Barcelona in the coming years.
Overall, Mendes’ signing is a positive development for Barcelona as they look to build for the future. With his talent and potential, he could become a key player for the club in the years to come. And with Ronaldinho by his side, he will have all the support he needs to succeed at one of the world’s biggest football clubs.