Player Profile: Ronaldinho
Ronaldinho was born Ronaldo de Assís Moreira. Born on the 21st March 1980 he came from a family of football players.
After a highly regarded youth career Ronaldinho was soon spotted by clubs in Europe but it was Paris Saint- Germain that broke the world record transfer fee for a teenager (signed for fee of $4.5 million) to bring him to the club.
After that, it was onwards and upwards for the young Brazilian who would go on to win the world cup with Brazil in 2002.
Ronaldinho was one of the most creative, skilful players of his generation. The talented Brazilian honed his skills playing futsal and said;
“A lot of the moves I make originate from futsal,”
“It’s played in a very small space, and the ball control is different in futsal. And to this day, my ball control is pretty similar to a futsal player’s control.”
Ronaldinho made his senior debut for Grêmio in the 1998 Copa Libertadores tournament. Extremely talented, it didn’t take long for top European clubs to take notice and it was PSG that came in for him.
In 2003, Ronaldinho joined FC Barcelona of the Spanish league, one of the world’s most popular clubs. After failing to sign David Beckham they needed to make a big appointment and theY certainly delivered.
In 2008, Ronaldinho left Barcelona to join A.C. Milan. He was a fading force in the game by then though and it was reported that he quite enjoyed the night life.
By 2011 he was done in Italy and Ronaldinho returned to Brazil to play for Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro. Back home with his fans Flamengo and Ronaldinho got off to a great start and they won the Campeonato Carioca.
Unfortunately, things did not last long with Flamengo and he moved on again to Atlético Mineiro. He played well whilst there and it reignited another call up with the Brazilian squad for the 2014 world cup.
Personal Life and Legacy
It was his time at Barcelona that defined Ronaldinho. He won two La Liga titles ,one Champions League trophy and one Ballon d’Or in a five-year stay at the Nou Camp.
Lionel Messi identified Ronaldinho as the one person who helped him adjust to playing for the senior Barcelona team and encourage him to express himself. Messi said about him;
“Everyone welcomed me into the dressing room, and [Ronaldinho] welcomed me in a spectacular way,” he said. “To go into that dressing room was not easy but he made it all so much easier.” (www.telegraph.co.uk/football)