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Cruzeiro fans protest against new owner Ronaldo

FOOTBALL By Reuters | January 7th 2022 | 2 min read
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima [photo courtesy]

Ronaldo’s start as the new owner of Brazilian club Cruzeiro hit early snags on Thursday as hundreds of fans demonstrated against his new regime outside the team’s training ground.

Supporters from Cruzeiro’s organised fan groups were angry at a decision to let a club stalwart leave the side prematurely and chanted “Big fat Ronaldo! Come and explain!”

The anger bubbled over the day after goalkeeper Fabio, who joined Cruzeiro in 2005, said he was leaving. In a public letter to fans he said the new administration did not honour an agreement reached with the previous directors.

“My contract renewal had been agreed with the club ... but this administration has not given me this option,” he wrote on Instagram.

Fabio, who played 976 times for the club, said he had agreed to extend his contract for one more year but was offered a three-month deal, something he said caused him “tears and pain”.

Cruzeiro later published a series of tweets honouring the keeper, without addressing his allegations.

Former Brazil, Real Madrid and Cruzeiro striker Ronaldo paid 400 million reais L1N2T30BN ($70 million) for the club last month and made it clear one of his priorities was cutting costs at the heavily indebted side.

The Belo Horizonte team are one of the biggest in Brazil but have been stranded in the second division for two years and will spend this season attempting to return to Serie A.

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