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Ronaldinho’s son Joao Mendes, 17, joins Barcelona to emulate legendary father

Ronaldinho’s 17-year-old centre forward son, Joao Mendes, is set to join Barcelona’s famed academy after successfully passing trials conducted over a period of 10 days at the Nou Camp.

According to reports the trials with the Spanish giants which began last month were overseen by Barcelona president Joan Laporta and Mendes’ uncle and agent Roberto de Assis.

During an interview with Catalan language private radio station RAC1, Ronaldinho has now confirmed that his son will be joining Barcelona.

“I can confirm Barcelona will sign João, Barça has always been part of my life and my heart and it will continue with my son.

“Barca is part of my life, and with the arrival of my son in the academy, I will be more present. I have many friends within Barca, Xavi included, and I hope that they can win the league,” the legendary winger said.

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Mendes, who turns 18 on February 25, was born in Rio de Janeiro while his father played for Barcelona.

Before going for trials with Barcelona in January he spent a number of years on the books of Cruzeiro, who are owned by Ronaldinho’s former international team-mate Ronaldo.

Ronaldinho, a former Brazil international and Ballon d’Or winner had a hugely successful trophy-laden five-year spell in Spain with Barcelona between 2003 and 2008.

He played more than 200 games for Barcelona, helping them win the Champions League in the 2005-06 season.