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Ronaldinho influence sees Atletico settle player debts

Ronaldinho of Brazil's Atletico Mineiro celebrates his second goal against Argentina's Arsenal during their Copa Libertadores soccer match i
Ronaldinho of Brazil's Atletico Mineiro celebrates his second goal against Argentina's Arsenal during their Copa Libertadores soccer match i

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Atletico Mineiro have settled their outstanding debts with players after Ronaldinho stepped in to lobby on behalf of his team mates, Lance newspaper said on Friday.

Ronaldinho signed a new one-year deal with Atletico last month but told the club it was conditional on them paying past salaries they owed to other players.

The club settled their debts soon after, the sports paper said on its website (www.lancenet.com.br).

Like most Brazilian clubs, Atletico Mineiro face financial issues and club president Alexandre Kalil said last month "we are having problems with players' salaries."

He did not specify how many had not been paid or how much was due.

Former Barcelona and AC Milan midfielder Ronaldinho joined Atletico in June 2012 and won the Libertadores Cup with them a year later, the first time he or they had lifted South America's biggest club trophy.

(Writing by Andrew Downie; Editing by Rex Gowar)

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