Ronaldinho endorses far-right Brazil presidential candidate

SAO PAULO (AP) - Two-time FIFA player of the year Ronaldinho endorsed on Saturday a far-right candidate in Brazil's presidential elections.

The former Brazil and Barcelona star posted a picture in his social media channels wearing a shirt in support of Jair Bolsonaro, a retired Army captain that leads polls.

"I wish peace, security and someone that gives us joy again," the 2002 World Cup winner wrote in support of Bolsonaro. "I chose to live in Brazil, I want a better Brazil for all."

Earlier this year Ronaldinho was reportedly considering a run for a Senate seat in Bolsonaro's party, but the move did not materialize.

Polls published Saturday show the far-right candidate will win Sunday's first-round, and then face a dead heat race against left-leaning Fernando Haddad on Oct.28.

Other famous Brazilian footballers endorsed Bolsonaro, including Tottenham's Lucas Moura and former AC Milan defender Cafu.

Retired racing driver Emerson Fittipaldi also endorsed the far-right candidate.

Bolsonaro's political platform mixes public security concerns, insults to minorities, pro-business ideas and conservative religion.

The far-right candidate barely campaigned since Sept.6, when he stabbed by a man who said he was upset about racial slurs made by Bolsonaro.

Last week, women's groups around Latin America's largest country organized protests against Bolsonaro, but that didn't stop his political momentum.

The national team's biggest star, Neymar, has steered clear of making any public statements about the election. Four years ago he endorsed right-leaning Aecio Neves, who narrowly lost to the re-elected president, Dilma Rousseff.

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