Heard the one about the Irish GAA player who played keepie uppie with Ronaldinho after landing an invite to his Brazilian home?
No? Thought not.
This is the remarkable story of Brosna gaelic footballer Paul Walsh, who has gone viral on social media after he was pictured chilling out with the Barcelona and Brazil legend at his home in Rio de Janeiro.
The 2002 World Cup winner (that’s Ronaldinho, not Walsh) was quite happy to pose for photos, including one in which he proudly holds up the green and gold jersey of the Kerry county football team.
Another snap shows the pair sitting down and having a quiet beer, while Kerry Franchise shared a TikTok video of the two unlikely friends enjoying a game of keepie uppie in what appears to be Ronaldinho’s man cave.
Quite how the incredible meeting came about remains a mystery, but a couple of theories have been put forward.
It has been suggested that the pair became pals after Walsh befriended the former AC Milan man on Instagram and was told to pop his head in if he was ever in the area, as you do.
What do you make of Paul Walsh’s incredible story? Let us know in the comments section.
Leon Twiss, who works for Kerry Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), offered up a version of that story in an interview with SPIN South West.
He said: “It is real. That is something I can definitely confirm.
“So, allegedly the story is that Paul was messaging Ronaldinho on social media, and they made a connection and the offer was put there that if he was ever in Brazil to make sure he called.
“And that’s what happened – and they had a lovely evening together playing keepie uppie and chatting and, obviously, he was very lucky to be presented with a Kerry jersey as well.
“That’s the alleged story.”
Another explanation is that it was Ronaldinho’s brother who Walsh got talking to on Instagram before making the 5,500 mile trip to Rio.
That version of events appears in an alleged Snapchat message doing the rounds on social media.
A picture of Walsh’s own Snapchat location appears to confirm his presence in Rio de Janeiro.
Meanwhile, Kerry GAA couldn’t resist the opportunity to take advantage of a bit of unexpected free publicity from Ronaldinho.
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Sharing the picture of the two men holding up the club’s jersey, they tweeted: “Look at our own Paul Walsh of @BROSNAGAA over visiting the one and only Ronaldinho!
“Paul you might mention to him that he could win a house in Kerry if he buys a ticket here and then you could show him around the beautiful Kingdom #Ronaldinho #ReturnVisit.”
It remains unclear whether Ronaldinho will take up the offer of a return visit to Kerry, but to be honest, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if he did.
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