(Forbes)-FC Barcelona have announced the signing of club legend Ronaldinho’s son Joao Mendes.
An announcement was made on Thursday morning, exactly two weeks since the 17-year-old made his debut in Blaugrana in a friendly against Manchester United as part of a mix of the Juvenil A and B youth teams.
Joao Mendes’ arrival was made official when his contract was signed in the presence of Joan Soler and the director of Barca’s Formative Football department Jose Ramon Alexanco.
The development was revealed to the world through a Twitter post, with the Rio de Janeiro native giving off a wide ear-to-ear smile resemblant of that his father was famous for at his peak – minus the trademark goofy front teeth.
✍🏼 El jugador 𝗝𝗼𝗮̃𝗼 𝗠𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝘀 ha signat, en presència del directiu @SolerFerre i del director del Futbol Formatiu José Ramon Alexanco, la seva incorporació al FC Barcelona en l’etapa juvenil#FCBMasia 💙❤️ pic.twitter.com/IyVWbFddHU
— FC Barcelona – Masia (@FCBmasia) March 2, 2023
Both Ronaldinho and the club’s president Joan Laporta had teased Mendes’ switch to Barca from Cruzeiro in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais at a Mundo Deportivo gala last month.
“I am never outside the club. Barcelona is part of my life. Wherever I go I take Barcelona with me. With the arrival of my son at Barcelona I will be more present than ever,” the former number ’10’ remarked at the event.
Elsewhere, Laporta said that the youngster has “pressure”, but that it was “the job of our coaches to develop his skills.”
After starting trials in January, Mendes was thought to have already signed for Barca by the media following his debut against United where he apparently showed signs of lacking the rhythm of European football.
At the weekend, however, SPORT revealed that Ronaldinho’s son’s contract still hadn’t been signed as the youngster watched his father run out in the amateur King’s League for the first time.
All doubts can be put to one side now, however, with Mendes officially incorporated into the Juvenil category.
Said to favor a number ‘9’ role, Mendes is also capable of operating on the wing but will face plenty of competition from teammates fighting to realize their dreams and graduate from the famed La Masia academy.
After signing from Paris Saint Germain in 2003, Ronaldinho returned Barca to La Liga and Champions League glory following one of the darkest periods in its history.
He then acted as a mentor to the academy’s most famous product in Lionel Messi, but was sold to AC Milan in 2008.