Now 36 years old, Ronaldinho has been bouncing around between clubs across the Americas, playing for a few months here and a one-off match there. But now he’s set for a role that’s only slightly more confounding than his time with Queretaro.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ronaldinho has signed on to play a supporting role in Kickboxer: Retaliation — the sequel to the upcoming Kickboxer: Vengeance, which itself is a reboot of the 1989 Jean-Claude Van Damme movie Kickboxer.
Mike Tyson and UFC fighter Paige VanZant also have parts in Retaliation.
From the entertainment industry trade publication:
Retaliation centers on a man (Alain Moussi) brought forcibly back to Thailand to fend for his life against a new formidable foe, a fighter named Mongkut (portrayed by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, best known for playing Gregor Clegane, aka The Mountain, on Game of Thrones).
Ronaldinho will play Ronaldo, an imprisoned expert martial arts kicker who shows Moussi how to refine his deadly kick.
But the Brazilian legend didn’t land the part because of his acting ability, kicking ability, or even his shining personality. He got it because he has a lot of social media followers. And producer Rob Hickman even admitted as much.
“As producers, much like advertisers and brands, we must look at a potential star’s total value,” said Hickman. “In addition to his charisma, Ronaldinho also brings with him 66 million social media followers from all parts of the globe. Those numbers are an element that a lot of traditional movie stars can’t offer and when we market the film, is something that will be invaluable.”
So we now live in a world where film roles are given to whoever has a potentially advantageous number of social media followers. I find that depressing.
Here’s the first trailer for the MMA heavy Kickboxer: Vengeance…