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Football is fun and when you have smile on your face, playing it become easier. Brazilian legend Ronaldo de Assis Moreira aka Ronaldinho Gaucho or simply Ronaldinho proved it and today on his retirement, it feels like smiles passed away from football.

World Cup winner of 2002 didn’t survive at top very long, but he left an impression on football fans which will never fade away. Football fans will always embrace his game as long as Youtube is there replay those live moments.

Ronaldinho may not have got the face of a model, but he definitely knew how to win the hearts of his fan. He arrived at Barcelona the same season, Real Madrid hired David Beckham. Beckham was a marketing material for Los Blancos due to his looks, but Ronaldinho was there to play the game and win the hearts of global football fans with his smile.

He was the epitome of Brazilian style and could be said last to play ‘Ginga style’ of football. He has everything to succeed as a footballer which earned him FIFA footballer of the year twice and a Ballon d’or.

The technically gifted Brazilian ruled the world football with his dancing feet. He has the creativity, skills, agility, pace and dribbling skills to outsmart the opposition defenders and he left them on ground while chasing him. He had the tricks, overhead kicks, no look passes and accuracy from free-kicks to bundle up his skills which has no match to existing footballers.

Ronaldinho flourished in partenership with his international teammates Ronaldo and Rivaldo in 2002 FIFA World Cup and he signed a mega deal with Barcelona in 2003. He flourished there as a footballer and played his career’s best football with the Catalans.

Barcelona’s current idol and his successor Lionel Messi describes him as responsible for change in Barca. He said, “Ronaldinho was responsible for the change in Barca. It was a bad time and the change that came about with his arrival was amazing.”

Ronaldinho scored his first La Liga goal for Barcelona against Sevilla, living an impression on football fans. He received the ball from his goalkeeper in his own half and dribbled past two Sevilla’s defender before striking the ball from 30 yards to hammer underside the crossbar and back up into the roof of the net.

It was just a beginning for him to earn applauds. He won twice FIFA footballer of the year award and Ballon d’or during his stay at Camp Nou. He also earned applaud at Santiago Bernabeu in ‘El Clasico’ in 2005/06 season which even Lionel Messi envies. In Barcelona 3-0 win over Real Madrid in first-leg, he sealed the match with his second goal and Madrid fans paid homage to his performance applauding him on their feet which only Diego Maradona have been granted at Bernabeu.

Then Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard was a great admirer of the footballer. He said, “He transmits a lot of joy and pleasure playing the game, and he has individual skills that are of such a high level that everybody in the world adores him.”

Ronaldinho was the only one who made the ball talk. Eidur Gudjohnsen then his teammate describes him, “when you play with him and see what he does with a ball, nothing surprises me anymore. One of these days, he’ll make the ball talk.”

He was such a persona that everyone embraced, but sadly he didn’t survive at top very long. He achieved success in his early years of career and he got carried away when most of the footballer flourishes. In 2008, he moved to AC Milan where he also won Serie A with his international teammate Kaka.

He stayed with Milan till 2011, but didn’t enjoy the success as he had with Barcelona. Then he moved to Atletico Mineiro, Queretaro and Fluminense with casual appearances, before finally hanging his boots on 17th January 2018. One of the all time football great said goodbye to his playing career, but it seems like he has taken the smile away from football.


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