RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Atletico Mineiro’s Ronaldinho, returning to Flamengo for the first time since walking out on the club in May, was greeted with the deafening sound of 30,000 plastic whistles every time he touched the ball on Wednesday.
The former Paris St Germain, Barcelona and AC Milan player was also jeered and insulted by the home crowd and made little impact on the Brazilian championship match, which his team lost 2-1.
Former CSKA Moscow forward Vagner Love volleyed Flamengo in front midway through the first half after the Mineiro defence failed to clear a corner.
There were several angry exchanges before former Everton and Manchester City forward Jo turned in a loose ball to equalise for the visitors four minutes after the break.
Flamengo won the match six minutes later when Liedson turned in Wellington Silva’s cross, although tempers flared again when Mineiro defender Rever was sent off for elbowing Victor Caceres.
Mineiro, second in the Brazilian championship table, stayed four points behind leaders Fluminense on 52 points from 26 games while Flamengo climbed to tenth with 34.
Ronaldinho, who has enjoyed a revival with Mineiro, left Flamengo in May after winning a court injunction which released him from his contract.
He had spent a troubled 17 months at the club, where he suffered a loss of form blamed in his partying lifestyle.
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)
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