The financial setbacks of Brazilian players after their career

When football glory is not enough to avoid money problems.
Desmond Efe-Khaese
2024-04-21 11:50:10

Several former stars of the Brazilian football team experienced financial difficulties after their sporting careers, leading in some cases to personal bankruptcy. Among the players affected are Ronaldinho, Danilo and Denilson, three of the biggest names in Brazilian football of the 2000s.


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Ronaldinho rose to fame at FC Barcelona where he won the Champions League and the Ballon d’Or in 2005, capping a golden decade in the Brazilian jersey. An eccentric figure who loves partying, the player with a bright smile has always displayed an expensive lifestyle. After leaving Barcelona in 2008, his performances declined while his spending continued to grow.

Converted to Brazil, he made numerous bad investments in real estate. In 2020, Ronaldinho was unable to honor his tax debt and found himself detained for 5 months in Paraguay for using false passports, revealing the extent of his financial problems. His property was seized at auction. Today, the fallen star is working to repay his creditors.


Defensive midfielder for PSG and Juventus Turin, Danilo also accumulated bad placements afterwards, particularly in catering. In 2015, he had no choice but to declare bankruptcy, with more than 4 million euros in debt.

The player admitted not having been able to financially manage the large sums received during his career. Elsewhere, Danilo suffered from a strong addiction to alcohol which led to the premature death of his father.


A courted young prodigy, Denilson signed for 22 million euros for Betis Sevilla in 1998. But injuries slowed him down in Spain. Back home, the extroverted player suffered a series of sporting disappointments. With his only income from football, he fell into tax debt. In 2016, heavily in the red, Denilson had to declare bankruptcy at age 37, ending his career in anonymity and difficulties.

Remembering Zagallo

Sambafoot Series launched a new documentary about the football legend Zagallo. Known as ‘Velho Lobo‘ and as superstitious as it gets, Zagallo helped shape what Brazilian football is nowadays — as a player and as a coach.

The first episode is available on Sambafoot’s Youtube channel and the series will receive weekly releases to tell this legend’s life story.