Brazil's participation in football's World Cup is almost a given, and now its entry into the first 'World Cup of Motorsport' has been confirmed with the announcement that soccer star Ronaldo has been awarded the franchise to run a team in the inaugural A1 Grand Prix series.

The Real Madrid star joins team-mate Luis Figo in the increasingly all-star A1 GP line-up, the Portuguese player being one of the first revealed 'seat holders'. Ronaldo's signing was announced at last night's Team Mexico launch, where series founder Sheikh Maktoum welcomed the Brazilian to his squad.

"I am also very happy to announce that the Brazilian team has been sold to Ronaldo, one of the world's greatest athletes and national hero to the 180 million-strong Brazilian population," he said at the Hipodromo de las Americas, "A1 Grand Prix is a truly global series reaching every continent in the world and as our footprint continues to expand, I look forward to increasing our American contingent."

"It's an honour to represent Brazil in any way I can - whether that's on the football pitch or by backing our national motorsport team," Ronal;do responded, "Like football, A1 Grand Prix is a team sport.

"Ultimately, it will be the country who will win the World Cup of Motorsport, not the driver. We've won the football World Cup more times than any other nation, so it would be great to win the first ever World Cup of Motorsport to go alongside it."

Ronaldo and Figo will 'take to the pitch' for the opening 'game' of motorsport's World Cup when the A1GP series kicks off at Brands Hatch in September.



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