|Ronaldinho hopes the move to Brazil will resurrect his international career in time for the World Cup in 2014 [Reuters]
Former World Player of the Year Ronaldinho will return to his home country after 10 years in Europe to join the popular Brazilian club Flamengo until the 2014 World Cup.
The agreement was announced on Flamengo's website on Tuesday after several days of negotiations to secure the player's transfer from AC Milan.
Flamengo was able to sign the 30-year-old Ronaldinho after Brazilian clubs Gremio and Palmeiras ended their efforts to acquire the two-time FIFA Player of the Year over the weekend.
"This is a very special day for Flamengo,'' Patricia Amorim, the club president, said after the contract was signed following a long meeting with Ronaldinho's brother and agent, Roberto Assis, and Adriano Galliani, AC Milan's vice president.
"Flamengo can finally celebrate, Ronaldinho is ours.''
Financial details of Ronaldinho's contract with Flamengo were not immediately released, but Brazilian media said he will earn a monthly salary of more than $600,000.
He reportedly also will receive money from marketing actions related to his image.
World Cup 2014
Ronaldinho has said one of his main goals is to play for Brazil in the 2014 World Cup, and he hopes the return to Brazilian football, with a contract until 2014, will help him revamp his career and accomplish that goal.
Ronaldinho helped Brazil win the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, but he had a disappointing performance in the 2006 tournament in Germany, where the Brazilians were eliminated in the quarterfinals.
He has played only a few times with the national team since then and was not summoned to play in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Six-time Brazilian champion Flamengo, currently coached by former Brazil and Real Madrid coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo, won the 2009 national championship with the help of Ronaldinho's former Brazil teammate Adriano, who had a successful return to Brazilian football after several years in
Ronaldinho is also hoping to follow in the footsteps of Ronaldo, who regained his status of a top player after returning to Brazil a few years ago with Corinthians, the country's second most popular club behind Flamengo.
With his nifty skills and dazzling moves, Ronaldinho impressed from the moment he transferred from Gremio to French club Paris Saint-Germain in 2001.
He peaked after moving to Barcelona in 2003, winning consecutive FIFA World Player of the Year awards in 2004 and 2005 and leading the Spanish club to the Champions League title in 2006.
Ronaldinho joined Milan in 2008 but struggled to establish himself at the Italian club, where he played sparingly this season.
The team released him after he expressed his desire to return to Brazil.
Ronaldinho had initially said he wanted to play for his hometown team, Gremio, where he started his career, but negotiations collapsed in the final stages after Gremio said the player and Milan had increased their demands.
An introduction party for Ronaldinho had already been prepared and the failed deal made him an unpopular figure with Gremio fans.
Palmeiras also complained of the negotiating tactics of Ronaldinho's agent, Assis, who had guaranteed that the player would sign with the club but then backtracked and reportedly made more demands.
English side Blackburn Rovers had also made an offer to acquire Ronaldinho, but the playmaker's desire to return to Brazil ended the team's chances.