Today, any discussion on the greatest player in football history always ends at Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Their long prime having earned them that reputation. However, this article is dedicated to Ronaldinho, the forgotten magician who could order the ball whenever and wherever he wished.
The first word that comes to mind, is “magic”. Looking back at his performance, it takes no time to realize the amount of skill and talent this man had. He could move and control the ball in any scenario, anywhere. He was so good that even Real Madrid fans gave him a standing ovation—the same ones that boo their own players. Ronaldinho has achieved everything from individual awards to team awards, from Brazil to Spain to Italy.
The legend won everything from the Ballon d’Or, FIFA player of the year to the World cup and Champions League. He also broke Goalscoring records throughout his career.
On March 6, 2020, Ronaldinho and his brother were arrested and jailed in a Paraguayan prison for carrying fake passports. So…, classic riches to rags story?
Pretty much. Ronaldinho was infamous for partying and going out no matter what. “Win, lose, play well, play badly—Ronaldinho didn’t care. He would still find a party and enjoy himself long into the night”, said Paolo, a season-ticket holder at the San Siro. Partying is a huge problem for any sportsman, especially football, due to the extreme physical requirement of the beautiful game.
Ronaldinho was on a mile high and determined to live life his own way. His mentors at the time were all aware, and reportedly warned him of the ‘imminent danger’ of indiscipline. Eventually, Ronaldinho was forced on the bench by Massimiliano Allegri and that was the last of Ronaldinho in Milan before departing to Brazil.
He never mended his ways and got back to partying in Brazil. And just like that, we lost another legend.
Ronaldinho retired in 2018.
All we can do is remember him on the field and pass on the story of how we witnessed greatness, and it goes without saying, that Ronaldinho is one of the greatest players to have graced the pitch.
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