Ronaldinho leaves Flamengo

Updated: May 31, 2012, 4:53 PM ET
Associated Press

SAO PAULO -- Ronaldinho's stint with Brazil's most popular club is over after the player decided to sue Flamengo for reportedly $20 million for unpaid salaries and delayed payments.

Ronaldinho's lawyer Gislaine Nunes said on Thursday a judge ruled in favor of the player's request to have his contract terminated. They want the club to pay everything they claim it owes to the 2004 and 2005 FIFA player of the year in wages and other rights.

"We didn't expect an attitude like this," club president Patricia Amorim said. "Now the case is in the hands of our legal department, which will take the necessary legal measures to defend the interests of Flamengo. The club is greater than any person and it's going to be like this forever."

The club said in a statement that the player made the decision to leave after "missing practice for four days." It said Ronaldinho was suing for an "alleged debt."

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press