Whether it be for Brazil, PSG, Barcelona, AC Milan or any of the clubs he played for in his home country, Ronaldinho was always entertaining.
Yes, he won three league titles and the Champions League in Europe. Yes, he won the World Cup and Copa America with Brazil. Yes, he won the Ballon d’Or once and FIFA World Player of the Year twice.
But Ronaldinho’s charm is not in his honours list or career statistics, it is in the pure joy he provoked whenever he had the ball at his feet. And here is what some of his peers had to say about the great man.
“Ronaldinho was responsible for the change in Barca. It was a bad time, and the change that came about with his arrival was amazing.
“In the first year, he didn’t win anything, but people fell in love with him. Then the trophies started coming and he made all those people happy. Barca should always be grateful for everything he did.”
“He is one of the greatest players I have ever seen.”
“Ronaldinho is total class – a very, very great player.”
“No one can compare to Ronaldinho. I remember his plays, his dribbles. I remember him winning every title at Camp Nou. He made history at Barca, he made history with Brazil, and he’s still making history.”
This clip of Ronaldinho taking the piss, and the astonished reactions of the fans, might be perfect. pic.twitter.com/DjllZScSXX
— Planet Football (@planetfutebol) September 28, 2017
“Ronaldinho was more talented than Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. When we didn’t know what to do, he would create chances to score.”
“I’d never seen a player like that. It was my early knockings in the Champions League and seeing him play was like, ‘Wow, this player is from a different planet to the rest of us.'”
“There was a period in Ronaldinho’s time at Barcelona where he was almost unplayable.
“Effortless, relaxed, always with a smile on his face, he’s a genius with the ball. I love Brazilian football and he is one of the best ever players from that country.”
“I played against him when he first came to Europe to play for Paris Saint-Germain in 2001 and even then you could tell he would one day become the best player in the world.”
“The best player in history? Ronaldinho. Because when he was at his best nobody could compare. He always had a smile on his face as well. He had skill, scored fantastic goals and put magic into the game.”
“This is not normal. He’s not normal, he never has been. He lives in the magnetic spectrum.
“What a goal this is. Beyond world-class. Astonishing. Cooler than a bomb disposal expert. That is an amazing piece of football finishing by King Ronaldinho.”
“The important thing is to play with champions, and Ronaldinho without doubt is one of them.”
“When you play with him and see what he does with a ball, nothing surprises me anymore. One of these days, he will make the ball talk.”
“I learned a lot from Ronaldinho and Robinho. Football is a tactical game and you sometimes have to be serious. But they taught me to always do it with a smile and have fun. I spent hours watching their clips on YouTube.”
“We wondered how it was possible there was so much talent in one body. It was unbelievable.”
Ruud van Nistelrooy
“I just can’t get enough of watching him play – he’s a delight for the eye.”
“He is the man that makes the difference between a team that plays well and another that is really memorable. He alone can decide one game.”
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