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In his father’s footsteps: Ronaldinho’s son joins Barcelona academy

FC Barcelona made an important connection with their past when they confirmed the signing of forward Joao Mendes — the son of legendary Brazilian forward Ronaldinho.

The 18-year-old is expected to initially form a part of Barcelona’s B team, which plays in Spanish football’s third tier, the club informed on Thursday.

Mendes, who had been without a club since leaving Brazil’s Cruzeiro in February last year, impressed Barcelona coaches during a trial earlier this year, reports Xinhua.

The youngster has already made his debut with Barca’s under-19 side in a friendly against Manchester United. He is a player who can play as a central striker or in a deeper role.

He is right-footed but good with his left, and Barca hope he will be able to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Ronaldinho spent five seasons with Barcelona between 2003-2008 and played a huge part in lifting the club to dominance between 2004-2006 when Barca won back-to-back La Liga titles and the Champions League trophy.

He played 207 times for Barca, scoring 94 goals, with arguably his most memorable performance coming in November 2005 when he scored two goals in a 3-0 win away to Real Madrid, which even saw some Madrid supporters applaud him.

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