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'Dinho's Mineiro Are Copa Contenders

Ronaldinho may have been axed from the current Brazil squad, but the legendary Brazilian continues to enjoy a fantastic season with his club, Atletico Mineiro.

The ‘Roosters’ became the first team to qualify for the last-16 of this season’s South American champions league, the Copa Libertadores, last night, when they beat Bolivian side The Strongest.

A goal by striker Diego Tardelli and an own goal by The Strongest gave Mineiro 12 points from four games in the group stage, and booked their ticket into the knockout rounds.

Mineiro have blossomed from a team in trouble into serious trophy contenders since ‘Dinho’s move there.

Along with Tardelli and former Manchester City striker Jo, Ronaldinho forms an eye-catching attacking trio.

And with highly-rated young attacking midfielder Bernard patrolling the space between the lines, Mineiro have become this season’s must-see team in South American football.

20-year-old, one-cap Brazil international Bernard is sure to be a name on the transfer list of many top European clubs before next season.

And even at this early stage in the competition, Mineiro are a good bet to claim South America’s most glittering club crown.

If that happens, the tantalising prospect of watching Ronaldinho in action against a team like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Juventus in the next Club World Cup will become a reality.

Ronaldinho PSG

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