Ronaldinho attacked by angry fans

PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian star Ronaldinho is thought to have been attacked by angry fans following the 4-2 home win over Troyes over the weekend, according to a newspaper report on Monday. 

Stepping out of his BMW to greet autograph hunters gathered outside the stadium parking lot on Saturday, the 22-year-old World Cup winner was taken to one side by a small cluster of fans. 

Angry comments were aimed at Ronaldinho and an altercation may have followed, according to L’Equipe, the French daily sports newspaper. 

“He was taken aside by three or four individuals. One witness mentioned that the player received a punch on the cheek,” L’Equipe said. 

Fellow Brazilians Paulo Cesar and Aloisio reportedly rushed over to help out their teammate. During the ensuing melee, further punches are believed to have been thrown and Aloisio’s cell phone stolen. None of the players were reported hurt. 

Several players’ cars were also reported damaged after the game. 

The club’s press officer, Mathias Barbera, declined to comment on reports of the altercation in a telephone interview on Monday. 

PSG lie eighth in the First Division, with fans growing increasingly restless towards the big-spending club, without a trophy in their last five seasons. Coach Luis Fernandez is under relentless pressure in some quarters to quit. 

Fights even broke out between followers for and against Fernandez during the First Division match against Troyes. 

Those in support, the so-called “Gavroches” and those against, the “Boys”, came to blows in the Boulougne section of Parc des Princes. Fans in the Auteuil section chanted “Fernandez resign, Fernandez resign”, at the final whistle. 

Many supporters feel let down by the coach. When pressured by the club’s directors to quit at the beginning of December, he put it to the fans to decide his fate. PSG won their ensuing game 2-0, against Lyon on Dec 4, and the crowd chanted for him to stay. 

But following some poor results since, including 3-1 defeats against minnows Montpellier and Guingamp, many fans feel their faith has not been justified. 

An increase in season ticket prices and some below-par performances from certain players have heightened the disillusionment. – AP

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