It’s still only January but 2018 is already taking legends away from my childhood – this time, it’s Ronaldinho.
Everyone is bound to his or her opinions, but I think it might be safe to say that Ronaldinho is one of the greatest players of all time. He was one of the first players I really paid attention to when I was just learning about soccer, and I used to watch his highlights all the time.
He took Cantona and Maradona’s styles with ease, and revolutionized the phrase “trickery” in his tekkers-laden, roulette-filled, no-look-passing career. I mean, when I was 7 years old in my back yard taking shots on my brother, with every move I attempted, I envisioned Ronaldinho and tried to be like him. This man was a true idol to me.
One of his quotes is “Football is about joy. It’s about dribbling. I favour every idea that makes the game beautiful. Every good idea has to last.”
From Grêmio, to PSG, to Barcelona, to Milan, Ronaldinho made an international impact on the teams he played on. He wasn’t always the highest goal-scorer, but he would find you with a disgusting pass, a smart run, or awe you with unseen skills.
Even if he wasn’t on the scoresheet from that game, he was the player to avoid, the one to stop, and the first name you considered when strategizing.
This is the same man who was smiling in defeat and victory, humbled by both. He scored two goals against Real Madrid while at Barcelona in El Clásico, and the Madrid fans GAVE HIM A STANDING OVATION.
You know the only other player on Barca to ever have that happen to him? Diego Maradona. Ronaldinho’s response to that praise was “I will never forget this because it is very rare for any footballer to be applauded in this way by the opposition fans.”
I love a player who everyone else loves. The antithesis of Sergio Ramos. I mean, I can’t think of a game I’ve watched where Ronaldinho wasn’t smiling at some point – and it was never sarcasm.
A genuine legend of the sport, who will be sorely missed. I won’t get annoying or anything with all the dope things he’s done, but just take a gander at his wiki page if you’re bored and want to know why he’s one of the most legendary players to ever live.
For now, I’ve picked one of a billion videos of Ronaldinho’s skills and expertise, that I would love for you to join in watching: