Ronaldinho prepares for Club World Cup with brace

Belo Horizonte, Dec 9: Ronaldinho scored a brace on his return from injury as Atletico Mineiro rallied from behind to end the Campeonato Brasileiro season with a 2-2 draw against Vitoria.

The two-time FIFA world player of the year struck with a curling free-kick in first-half injury time before equalizing with an 89th-minute penalty at the Mineirao Stadium, Xinhua reported Sunday.

The performance confirmed Ronaldinho’s fitness ahead of the FIFA Club World Cup beginning in Morocco Wednesday. He had been sidelined since September after his left leg’s adductor muscle ruptured.

“I appreciate the effort the club and the medical staff made to look after me and get me fit again,” Ronaldinho said after the match.

Atletico Mineiro are favorites to meet European champions Bayern Munich in the Club World Cup final on Dec 21.

The tournament features each of FIFA’s six continental club champions plus the host nation’s league winners.

Atletico Mineiro qualified by winning the Copa Libertadores final against Paraguay’s Olimpia in July.

IANS