Ronaldinho’s son joins Barcelona: Who is Joao de Assis Moreira? Position and record of teenage prodigy

By | February 10, 2023

Following in your famous father’s footballing footsteps can be tricky for any young player and the task is even harder when you dad is Brazilian icon Ronaldinho.

The former PSG, Barcelona and AC Milan superstar enjoyed an incredible career as one of the best players of a generation as he thrilled for club and country from 2000 to 2011.

However, family football torch has now been passed to his only son — Joao de Assis Moreira — with the 17-year-old reportedly set to join Barcelona this month.

The teenager — commonly known as Joao Mendes — has been without a club for over 12 months and he is rumoured to be on the verge of a move to Catalonia.

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Is Ronaldinho’s son joining Barcelona?

The news of Mendes joining Barcelona was broken by his father, during an interview with Spanish radio station RAC1, following a trial at the club last month.

Barcelona are yet to confirm the new arrival, but club president Joan Laporta has reportedly intervened to request a deal for Mendes as part of an extended trial at the Camp Nou.

Laporta said: “The pressure on the boy is great, because Ronaldinho has been one of the best in history. The son has pressure, but it’s the job of our coaches to develop his skills.”

Who is Ronaldinho’s son?

Joao Mendes is the only child of Ronaldinho and his former wife Janaína Mendes, and was born in 2005 in Rio de Janeiro, during his father time at Barcelona.

He has played football in his native Brazil from a young age, with academy spells at Flamengo, Boavista-RJ and Vasco da Gama, before joining Cruzeiro aged 13.

Despite being the son of one Brazil’s all-time greats, Mendes chose not to reveal his father’s fame during his initial trial at Cruzeiro, with the news breaking after he signed a deal at the club.

Cruzeiro were impressed by his progress at youth level, and agreed a six-year professional contract with him in 2019, before opted to leave the club in January 2022.

Joao Mendes position, skills and image

Unsurprisingly, comparisons with his father were immediate in Mendes’ youth career, with the teenager described as ‘quick footed with a goal scoring threat’ by reports from Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte.

He is predicted to be a different style of player to his dad, operating in any position across the attack, with speed and close control as his main strengths.

Comparisons will continue for the latest young star arriving at Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, but the pressure will be even higher for their newest recruit.