The football world is mourning the loss of yet another extraordinary talent. Brazilian legend Ronaldinho calls it quits and announced his retirement from the sport. Although many of us acknowledged the fact that he hasn’t been active for about two years, it was something that we all feared could happen at any moment. Was he that good? Of course, he managed to accomplish remarkable things during his short career. However, the best thing he will be remembered for is how he helped turn F.C. Barcelona into the powerhouse they are today. Oh and don’t forget he also introduced Messi to the world.
If anything this a short thank you letter for a player that marked a legacy, not only for a generation but also for the sport itself. Being a kid, I remember watching his plays during his last years at Barcelona, not all the flair he showed during his first years at the club but still amazing to watch. One of my favorite moments has to be his missed chance against Bilbao in season 07-08 a brilliant play that ended in the crossbar. I was lucky enough to see his last goal for the club against Atletico Madrid, and no not live if that’s what you thought. Once he left for A.C Milan he made some magic happen but sadly Messi and Ronaldo had already established themselves, leaving almost no room for Roni’s game to be showcased. Although, I must say he did manage to play with the best midfielders the sport has seen. He played alongside Beckham, Pirlo, and Kaka not everyone does that nowadays exempt for Di Maria. However, prior to calling it quits on European football, he managed to outclass England, Ghana, and Italy in friendly matches with the national team. The rest? YouTube does an excellent job by showing you how he humiliated Real Madrid, Chelsea and A.C Milan, so be sure to check him out.
The world saw his last good spell at club football once he returned to his native Brazil. Despite playing for Flamengo at the beginning, it wasn’t until he played for Atletico Mineiro were he showcased his full potential. He became a key man and helped them win the Copa Libertadores in 2013. The Club World Cup was not the best tournament for him, but he managed to steal the show regardless. Roni left the tournament with a goal and souvenir giveaway, his rivals took everything except his shorts as memories. Mexico was his final destination career-wise, not brilliant as he became more careless than anything. However, he did manage to get his club to a cup final before leaving, with another standing ovation, this time at the legendary Azteca stadium.
In the end, you can’t hate this man if you truly enjoy soccer. He probably introduced you to Youtube with his crossbar challenge or maybe gave you a glimpse of how to be happy with a ball at your feet. Whatever the case may be we all know that a player like him will probably never appear again. To the younger generations that think Neymar is doing “never seen before” plays on a football pitch, you were unlucky to see Ronaldinho at his best. Goodbye to the World Cup winner, the European Champion but most importantly…Goodbye to the Legend that taught me that football was enjoyable as long as you keep a smile on your face…. Farewell, “Dinho”.