Lionel Messi has sent Ronaldinho a touching message via Instagram after his former Barcelona teammate’s mother passed away aged 71.
Miguelina was admitted to Mãe de Deus Hospital in Porto Alegre in December after contracting coronavirus but has now died.
Ronaldinho previously disclosed that his mother had been hospitalised prior to Christmas.
"Dear friends, my mother has covid-19 and we are fighting so that she recovers soon,” the legendary Brazilian said. “She is in intensive care, receiving the best possible treatment. I would like to thank everyone in advance for all of the positive energy you always send. With love. Stay strong Mum.”
Atletico Mineiro, the Brazilian club that Ronaldinho played for between 2012-2014, expressed their condolences following the news of Miguelina’s passing.
"[The] club is mourning the death of Dona Miguelina,” a statement reads.
"It is with great sadness that Clube Atlético Mineiro receives the news of the death of Dona Miguelina, mother of @10Ronaldinho.
"The Atleticana Family is in mourning and shares the moment of pain with their idol.
"May God welcome you with open arms and comfort the heart of our eternal ace. Rest in peace, Dona Miguelina."
Meanwhile, Messi posted the following message to his old friend on Instagram: "Ronnie, I have no words, I can't believe it.
“Just sending you a lot of strength and a big hug to you and the family. I'm very sorry, RIP."
(Translation per @RoyNemer)
Ronaldinho played an important role in Messi’s early years as a professional footballer.
He welcomed Messi into the fold with open arms and even told the media that the Argentine was a better footballer than he was back in 2005-06.
Messi was only a teenager at the time but Ronaldinho was acutely aware that his fellow South American was on course for greatness.
They’ve remained close ever since, despite the fact Ronaldinho left Barça in 2008, and Messi has clearly been left deeply saddened by this horrible news.