It is a mammoth challenge to have a legendary father who won it all during his career. But 14-year-old son of Brazilian legend Ronaldinho is doing well in following his father’s footsteps after he signed a contract with sportswear giants Nike.
Ronaldinho was the face of the American company when he won the world’s best player award in 2005. And now, his son Joao Mendes is set to rake in millions at just 14.
The World cup winner revealed the news through a post on social media with a picture of Mendes signing the contract.
"The newest member of the @nike family!!! Football with joy!!” Wrote Ronaldinho.
Joao’s mother, Ronaldinho’s ex-girlfriend Janaina Mendes, was also in the photo which has shocked the fans due to the ‘rare’ sight of the three together.
The youngster penned his first professional deal with Cruzeiro in April after he rose up the youth ranks at their academy.
He joined Cruzeiro in 2018 after he impressed during his trials. Reports claimed that the young Brazilian had to hide his identity during the trials to avoid his father’s status influencing the club’s decision.
Ronaldinho is considered one of the most celebrated players in the world for his cheeky style of football with a trophy-laden career which took spells with PSG, Barcelona and AC Milan.
Being the face of Nike during his career, he featured in many of their adverts most notably the one where he appeared to repeatedly kick the ball off the crossbar whilst keeping it in the air.
Whether or not Mendes lives to his father’s legendary status remains to be seen. But with lucrative sports contracts being penned at 14 years, it looks like the youngster’s future is bright.