< Other Cool Sites >
Ronaldinho Gaucho Career
The Grêmio years
Ronaldinho's career began in the
youth team at Porto Alegre club Grêmio, under head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari,
who would later coach the Brazilian national team to glory in the 2002 World
Cup. His first senior appearance came in the 1998 Libertadores Cup, and his
penchant for goalscoring was quickly displayed, his career soon generating
interest due to his phenomenal ball control and ability to score. This was
followed by his introduction into the Brazilian national team in 1999.
Towards the end of his career at Grêmio, in 2001, many clubs from all over the
world, particularly Premiership teams in England, were eager to sign him as an
attempt to attain a player who was both a "big name" and was also performing
well. Despite several generous bids from Premiership teams (who would not have
been able to sign him due to work permit restrictions) and several requests
from Grêmio, Ronaldinho signed a five-year contract with PSG, to which he moved
at the beginning of the following season.
The Paris Saint-Germain years
In 2001 Ronaldinho left Grêmio to play
European football. Despite bids from much larger clubs,he opted to play for PSG.
During his time at PSG, the manager, Luis Fernandez, claimed that Ronaldinho
was too focused on the Parisian nightlife rather than on his football, and
complained that his holidays in Brazil would always drag on and never end at
the scheduled times.
After the 2002 World Cup, having shown his worth on the international scene,
there was no shortage of interest from bigger clubs. In 2003, Ronaldinho made
it clear he wanted to leave PSG after they failed to qualify for any European
competitions. Ronaldinho's desire to leave set off a bidding war among the top
European clubs (Manchester United and FC Barcelona the notable examples) for
his services. The club that ended up winning the battle for his services was FC
The Barcelona years
On July 19, 2003, FC Barcelona acquired
Ronaldinho for £18 million. Originally, Barcelona chairman Joan Laporta had
promised to bring David Beckham to the club, but following his transfer to Real
Madrid, Barcelona entered the running for Ronaldinho and beat Manchester United
to his signature. It was thought that a failure on the part of the English and
French clubs to agree on a fee was the reason Manchester United's deal fell
through. Ronaldinho is also said to have signed with Barcelona instead of
Manchester United because of his friendship with former Nike executive in
Brazil and Barcelona's then vice-president in charge of sports, Sandro Rosell.
Ronaldinho's signing with Barcelona follows in the footsteps of a number of
illustrious fellow countrymen who enjoyed successful careers with the club,
including Romario, Ronaldo and Rivaldo.
Barcelona quickly showcased the talents of their new striker in an exhibition
match against AC Milan. The match took place in front of a crowd of 45,000 at
RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Barcelona had a 1-0 lead through most of the
first half, and they increased their lead to 2-0 when Ronaldinho scored in the
51st minute. Having received a short pass from Xavi, Ronaldinho fired a shot
that spun around Fernando Redondo and into the net, landing him his first goal
for the club.
After returning from injury in the first half of the campaign, Ronaldinho
continued to justify his price tag by leading Barcelona to a second-place
finish in La Liga during the 2003/04 season. Along with Samuel Eto'o, Deco,
Xavi, Ludovic Giuly and Henrik Larsson, Ronaldinho comprises part of a strike
force which helped bring the 2004/05 La Liga title for FC Barcelona. On
December 20, 2004, Ronaldinho was named FIFA World Player of the Year ahead of
Arsenal's Thierry Henry and AC Milan's Andriy Shevchenko. It was then that
Barcelona rejected a £60 million bid made for him by Chelsea F.C., according to
In March 2005, Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea in
the first knockout round. Ronaldinho scored a penalty kick and an impressive
solo goal in the 4-2 loss at Stamford Bridge.
In June 2005, Rosell resigned from the Barcelona administration following a
bust-up with Joan Laporta, and it was feared that his resignation would spell
the end for Ronaldinho and Barcelona's association as well. With Ronaldinho's
contract running only into 2008, he was offered a contract until 2014 that
would net him £85 million over those 9 years, which he rejected. Later that
year in September, he signed a two-year extension of his original contract on
with FC Barcelona. The new contract contains a minimum fee release clause that
allows him to leave should a club make an offer to Barcelona of at least £85
million for him.
On November 19, 2005, he scored two solo goals to help FC Barcelona to a 3–0
win over arch-rivals Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid. After he
scored his second goal of the night, his team's third, a large part of the
Madrid faithful gave him a standing ovation, a rare feat which had not occurred
since Diego Maradona played for Barcelona in 1985.
In September 2005, Ronaldinho was crowned FifPro Player of the year, an award
voted for by his fellow professionals. He was also named in the FifPro team of
the year alongside the likes of Zidane and Maldini. In November 2005 Ronaldinho
was named as both the European Footballer of the Year and the best striker in
the 2004-05 Champions League. In 2005, Ronaldinho became the third Brazilian to
win the Ballon d'Or. On December 19, 2005, he was again named FIFA World Player
of the Year with 956 points, more than three times the 306 points of Chelsea's
Frank Lampard, who finished second in the poll, and the 190 points of Barcelona
teammate Samuel Eto'o who finished third. He was chosen for the UEFA team of
2005 for the third time running in January 2006.
On March 7, 2006, in the 2nd leg of the
Champions League first knockout round at Nou Camp, Ronaldinho avenged
Barcelona's defeat to Chelsea in the same competition the previous year,
running past the Chelsea defence to score. Although the game ended 1-1,
Barcelona progressed to the Champions League quarterfinal, in which they beat
SL Benfica 2-0 at Nou Camp (Ronaldinho having scored the first goal by a
penalty kick) after a goalless draw at the Estádio da Luz. In the first
semi-final leg, against AC Milan in the San Siro, Ronaldinho once again proved
his worth with a superb pass for the goal volleyed in by Ludovic Giuly, which
brought Barcelona a 1-0 victory. The second leg game ended in a goalless draw
despite a disallowed goal from Andriy Shevchenko in the 70th minute. The 0-0
result with AC Milan brought Barcelona to the 2006 Champions League Final in
Paris against Arsenal F.C., who had not conceded a goal in ten Champions League
matches, a competition record.
On May 3, 2006, Barcelona were crowned 2005/2006 La Liga champions after they
beat Celta Vigo 1-0.
On May 17, 2006, Barcelona became European champions after defeating Arsenal
2-1 in the Champions League final. In this match Ronaldinho was kept relatively
subdued and the goals came from Samuel Eto'o and Juliano Belletti, who were
both assisted by Henrik Larsson. Ronaldinho finished the season with 25 goals
in all competitions, his best goalscoring tally ever. It was rumoured on the
3rd of August that Ronaldinho might move to AC Milan, but Ronaldinho denied it.
Ronaldinho debuted for the Brazilian
national team on June 26, 1999 against Latvia. In his first tournament
participation he scored against Venezuela in the 1999 Copa América, a game that
the Brazilian team won.
Ronaldinho played a part in Brazil's successful 2002 campaign to win the World
Cup, forming the famed "3 R's" with Ronaldo and Rivaldo. One of the highlights
of the tournament was a 30-yard free kick he scored against England in the
quarter-finals in Shizuoka, albeit being a fluke (he admitted this after this
match). He was sent off soon after for a foul on Danny Mills. Following the
sending-off, he was suspended for the semifinal, but returned to Brazil's
starting line-up for the 2-0 victory over Germany in the final.
On June 29, 2005, he played a pivotal role as the captain of the Brazilian
squad that won its second FIFA Confederations Cup title, and was named Man of
the Match in a 4–1 victory over Argentina in the final. Pelé named Ronaldinho
in his 125 Top Living Footballers in March 2004.
In the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Ronaldinho was a starting player for all of
Brazil's five matches, but his performances were considered disappointing by
both fans and commentators. He scored no goals and made only one assist (for
Gilberto's goal in a 4-1 victory over Japan). When Brazil were eliminated by
France 1-0 in the quarterfinal, he failed to make an impression.
Immediately after the World Cup disappointment, the team was criticized by many
Brazilians, and vandals immolated and destroyed a 7.5-meter (23-foot) tall
fiberglass and resin statue of Ronaldinho in the Brazilian city of Chapecó. The
statue had been erected in 2004 to celebrate his first election as FIFA World
Player of the Year.
Two days after the loss, Ronaldinho, joined by Adriano, returned to Barcelona
and held a party at his home, which was continued into the early morning hours
at a nightclub. This increased the feeling of Brazilian fans that they were
betrayed by the lack of effort from their national team. This reaction
contrasted with other players such as Rogerio Ceni, who was ashamed of the game
and said "some defeats are marked by struggle, but we lost in an infelicitous
way, that wasn't what we had hoped for" and Zé Roberto, who cried and said that
"the unity that we had outside the pitch, lacked inside it".
Source : Wikipedia.org