The only one of the Ronaldos who suits in this editorial, Ronaldinho Gaúcho gets the second spot in our ongoing series known as ‘Football Misfits’.
Following up with the editorial we began yesterday about the most important Football Misfits in history, we now give our full attention to Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho Gaúcho. For many the player with the biggest raw talent that football has produced, ‘Dinho’ began his career at 18 years old playing for Brazilian club Gremio from Porto Alegre. When he was even younger, there are videos of him destroying defenses in futsal which is where he got all those mad dribbling skills that made him famous around the world later in his career. Ronaldo de Assis Moreira was born in Porto Alegre Brazil on March 21, 1980. He is the youngest of two and lived a poor life when he was young as many Brazilian stars did during their childhood, his father was a struggling semi-professional footballer who never made it big and sadly passed away when Ronaldinho was only eight years old.
Ronaldinho’s rise to stardom.
When Ronaldo de Assis was very young before his father passed away after drowning in a pool accident, the youngest of both of Joao’s children promised his father he would succeed as a professional football player and one day win the Ballon d’Or. His development and natural talent for playing football took him to the Gremio academy where he made his debut in a Copa Libertadores Match at the age of 18, his career quickly took off after that and he never looked back. On that same debut season Ronaldinho a whopping 23 goals in 48 matches for Gremio, he became a crucial part of his team’s state championship and became famous around the world after he embarrassed Brazil captain Dunga during a derby against Internacional in 1999. On that same year, Ronaldinho was presented on the international stage at the Confederations Cup in Mexico where he was the top scorer alongside fellow Football Misfit, Cuauhtemoc Blanco.
Dinho’s jump to European football and World Cup glory.
By the time he was only 21, French giants Paris Saint-Germain decided to buy Ronaldinho from Gremio for €5 million and that’s when his career took a step forward in the right direction. Just a year later he was part of the World Cup winning Brazil side that featured him as the rising young star alongside Brazil greats Ronaldo and Rivaldo, years before as he kept getting called-up people started calling him Ronaldinho to not confuse him with the original Ronaldo. His World Cup performance in Korea/Japan was as great as it was short-lived, as he missed the semifinal due to a red card suspension but returned to the starting eleven for the final against Germany in which he gave a modest performance. But none of that mattered because Ronaldinho already kept one of the promises he made to his deceased father, he was a World Cup champion with Brazil.
Ronaldinho reaches the stars and fulfills his promise.
After the World Cup, his career took the best turn possible as he was signed by FC Barcelona in 2003 for €23 million, in a deal where the Catalan club beat Manchester United to sign the young star and changed the club’s history forever. It took Ronaldinho one match to prove what he was capable of, it was in a midnight match against Sevilla with a famous long-distance screamer that his romance with Barcelona began. For the next three years, we would see the player who is perhaps the most talented football has ever seen on a pitch, even legends of the game like Maradona accept that there has never been a more talented player in football history. But when he reached the very top and felt he had fulfilled his promise, Ronaldinho simply decided to stop his rise in a career that wasn’t short-lived but it was slightly disappointing. Many of us didn’t want to accept his decision to stop competing, but even then Ronaldinho became one of the few players who won every single trophy a pro can win and he did it to the half of his capacity. His decision to not go further as one of the greatest ever is what makes him eligible to be considered a Football Misfit.
What memory do you have of Ronaldinho’s impressive career? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.