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Ronaldo’s Son Competing In Israel’s Maccabiah Games

Call this unexpected.

The son of Brazil’s legendary soccer player Ronaldo will play for Brazil at the 20th Maccabiah Games in Jerusalem.

Ronaldo’s son Ronald, 17, is not Jewish. But he is a member of Brazil’s Under 18 soccer team participating in the games, the so-called Jewish Olympics. A record 10,000 athletes from 80 countries will be competing in 43 sports at the world’s third-largest sporting event, according to organizers.

“This is the Brazilian delegation that represents us at the World Maccabi Games. A special hug to my son @ronald_lima. Good luck, guys! Go for it, Brazil,” Ronaldo posted Wednesday on Instagram a day before the start of the games.

The post, accompanied by a photo of Ronald and the team, garnered over 40,000 likes in its first six hours.

Ronald has also been a member of Sao Paolo’s Hebraica, a type of club popular across South America that functions as a cross between a Jewish community center and a country club.

“Ronald and his mother Milena have been full members of Hebraica club for years, where they felt warmly welcomed and feel like home, as they say,” Avi Gelberg, who presides over both the Maccabi organization in Brazil and the Hebraica club in Sao Paulo, told JTA. “They have also been approaching Judaism more and more.

“We didn’t have a full team in this category, so we decided to reward the kid by inviting him.”

Milena, an ex-model who also is not Jewish, is a member of the Sao Paulo Hebraica women’s soccer team. She holds the women’s record for soccer ball juggling, or keeping a soccer ball off the ground, with over 55,000 touches.

Eligibility rules for Maccabiah competitors vary from country to country. Some delegations require athletes to be Jewish according to strict interpretation of religious law, while others have more liberal rules.

In the Instagram photo below, Ronaldo’s son is in the back row on the far right, sporting a pair of headphones.

No doubt the haters are not going to like this.

Not that it will be the first time a champion football player named Ronaldo has disappointed them.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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