Ballon d’Or winner’s son kept identity secret from scouts but still blew them out the water during trial

WONDERKID

Ballon d’Or winner’s son kept identity secret from scouts but still blew them out the water during trial

A BARCELONA legend’s son kept his real identity under wraps fearing scouts would treat him favourably and still aced his trial.

Joao Mendes, 17, pulled that gutsy move off at the tender age of 13 when he was trying his luck out at Cruzeiro.

Joao Mendes, the son of a Barcelona legend, kept his identity a secret during a trial

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Joao Mendes, the son of a Barcelona legend, kept his identity a secret during a trial

According to Globo Esporte, Mendes “charmed the scouts”, who had no idea about his former Ballon d’Or winner dad.

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The young striker then embarked on a promising career hoping to emulate his old man, who also stood out for Brazil.

Have you worked out who the father is? Here’s some more clues, he also played for  Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan…

It’s of course none other than Ronaldinho, one of the sport’s most entertaining footballers ever.

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Mendes is now looking to emulate the 42-year-old and started out in Cruzeiro’s youth system after his secret trial.

The Brazilian also spent time in the academy of Ronaldinho’s former club Flamengo as well as Vasco da Gama beforehand.

The talented teenager left Cruzeiro after four seasons and was a free agent for almost a year,

But then Mendes earned a trial at Barcelona, where Ronaldinho played his best football from 2003 until 2008.

Joao Mendes is the son of Barcelona and Brazil legend Ronaldinho

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Joao Mendes is the son of Barcelona and Brazil legend Ronaldinho
Joao Mendes is looking to emulate Ronaldinho's stunning career

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Joao Mendes is looking to emulate 

But it didn’t work out the same way it did at Cruzeiro as he struggled at Barcelona’s Under-19 side.

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However, the Blaugrana’s president Joan Laporta, who has a strong relationship with Ronaldinho, asked the coaching staff to extend his trial.

Mendes took advantage of that final chance as he managed to pull it together and earned a Barcelona contract soon after.

Ronaldinho is also around at the Nou Camp as he works as an ambassador for the club.

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