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Remembering the day the Bernabeu cheered Ronaldinho

Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images
Real Madrid v F.C. Barcelona - Ronaldinho

With Barcelona’s visit to the Santiago Bernabeu just hours away, it’s a perfect time to remember when Ronaldinho completely owned that stadium.

Brazilian legend Ronaldinho lived his most incredible years as a footballer when he played for FC Barcelona, his prime lasted for only three years and most people would agree that his most memorable night came on November 13, 2005, at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

It was La Liga’s El Clasico from the first half of the season, Ronaldinho was getting to complete his most spectacular season of all, the one in which he won La Liga and the Champions League on the same year.

We can talk about many memorable nights that Ronaldinho had during those three magical years, even some of the greatest footballers in history agree that those three seasons may have been the most spectacular that anybody has ever seen a player produce in football history.

Hell, even Diego Maradona himself has bowed to Ronaldinho’s greatness and kissed his hand during a time the two met in a public event.

The Brazilian player had a magnetic personality that forced anybody to love him just by watching him play football, he could even make his most hated rivals respect him and that’s where this unforgettable night comes to mind.

To those who are not aware of the atmosphere that people breathe at the Santiago Bernabeu, we are talking about one of the most demanding crowds in the world because they support the most successful club in football history.

Whenever they are watching one of their own players not making his best effort, the most deafening jeers come from every corner of the stadium making that player know that he is not living up to the expectations.

When an opponent comes to play at the Bernabeu, the fans are almost always ruthless and they make sure said player goes through hell every time he touches the ball.

But there are very rare occasions in which the Santiago Bernabeu learns to recognize greatness, it has happened very few times to remember when an authentic legend of the game comes out of the pitch at this mythical stadium with a standing ovation.

It actually happened once to Alessandro Del Piero when he scored against Los Blancos in the Champions League, this is a night that the Italian playmaker will remember until the day he dies.

What happened with Ronaldinho is even more incredible, as he was wearing the shirt of Real Madrid’s most hated rival.

The FC Barcelona forward came to this playground and conquered it with two of the most spectacular goals we watched him scored during his career, both were actually strikingly similar and both were good enough for most of the Real Madrid supporters to simply stand up and clap before greatness.

Ronaldinho actually made a habit of getting cheered by several rival stadiums throughout his career, he is arguably one of the most beloved players in the world and someone who really made people fall in love with this beautiful sport.

You can ask anyone who has had the privilege to watch the man play live, they will all tell you what a special moment it was for them because Ronaldinho really does represent the joy of football.

The man is Lionel Messi’s godfather in football, he is unique in every sense of the word and there won’t be another one like him.

Even polls from prestigious publications around the world place Ronaldinho as one of the best players in history despite his relatively short time playing at his highest level, we all lament that he decided to stop making the effort in order to make his career last even longer.

In perspective, we wouldn’t have him any other way. Leo Messi will never accomplish several things that Ronaldinho did, he will never leave the Bernabeu with the crowd cheering him, that’s for sure.

Why do you think Ronaldinho was respected by so many people around the world? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.