Ronaldinho’s son leaves fans baffled with new position at Barcelona

Ronaldinho’s son has left fans baffled with his new position after changing from his former role at Barcelona.

Joao Mendes, 19, joined Barcelona last year, initially on a trial.

He struggled to impress but club president Joan Laporta ensured an extension.

And the youngster eventually signed officially for his dad’s former team in March 2023.

Mendes initially started out as an attacker – scoring and creating goals like his famous World Cup-winning father.

However, after struggling for minutes, new footage of him in action for Barcelona Under-19s revealed he is starring in a very different position… as a left-back.

The compilation video shows No5 Mendes putting in some strong tackles, marauding down the left wing, displaying some neat footwork, linking up with team-mates and even taking a throw-in.

And the clips – shared on TikTok – sparked a flurry of comments reacting to the son of one of the most skilful, flair footballers ever seen being deployed in defence, in a “reverse of Bukayo Saka” who switched from full-back to winger at Arsenal.

One said: “They made bro a LB.”

Another wrote: “I respect the kid a lot tho. He’s Ronaldinho’s son and he’s not bitter about being moved to left-back, you can tell he’s really trying to.”

A third added: “Born to play RW forced to play LB.”

A fourth commented: “If he can’t cook as a winger he can stop them.”

A fifth responded: “Imagine that you are the son of Ronaldinho and you also get blessed being left footed and at the end of the day you end playing as a left-back that’s crazy.”

And a final user replied: “This shows how a position changing can change everything.”

Mendes – born in 2005 in the year his dad won the Ballon d’Or – struggled to make an impact after joining Barcelona.

He made his debut in a friendly against Manchester United youth team but then had to wait months for his next run-out in the Mediterranean International Cup.

The left-footed youngster’s contract at Barcelona expires at the end of the season and it is unclear if he will be offered a new deal.

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