This week in football news Ronaldinho said goodbye to football, and in turn the world said goodbye to him as the 37-year-old retired from football. He is a player that will go down in the hall of fame of football if/when they decide to build the sacred place.
His football exuded hope, joy and happiness, and we all basked in the grandeurs of his playing career. From Youtube sensation to World Cup glory, from Gremio to Barcelona, Ronaldinho has left behind an archive full of great memories, goals and skills for the fans around the world.
He played with a smile on face, forever flashing his pearly whites. His joy for the game spread infectiously to every corner of the planet. He was the pioneer of skills, that had both kids and adults practising his skills the very next day.
An illustrious career reaches an end of its story, but which goal was your favourite?
As an homage to the great Brazilian, here is a top six list of Ronaldinho’s best goals…
6. vs. England, 2002
In World Cup 2002 Ronaldinho subjected England keeper David Seaman to a lifetime of jokes, in what became an unforgettable moment for England.
Paul Scholes makes a needless rash tackle conceding a foul in a position that you would expect a free kick to be whipped in for a cross. Though, Ronaldinho had other plans. Spotting Seaman off his line, trying to anticipate the Brazilian’s cross, Ronaldinho made him pay for his assumptions.
The freekick was swung in, but it looped over a sheepish Seaman. Did he mean to score? Ronaldinho has created a CV full of being cheeky, so you wouldn’t doubt him attempting to score.
5. vs. Villarreal, 2006
Ronaldinho’s cheekiness is boundless. Throughout his career he has always sought to break the boundaries on the outrageous ways he can score goals. This goal that completed the 4-0 rout against Villarreal was just another example of his sacred ingenuity.
A well-timed overhead pass from Xavi found Ronaldinho who had sprung the offside trap. His chest control of the ball took him away from goal, which was perhaps seen as a mistake on his part, but on closer inspection it was to shield the ball away from the oncoming Villarreal defender.
Thinking that he had done his job of taking the Brazilian away from the threat of goal, the opponent then stood in shock as Ronaldinho delved into the realm of cheekiness to unleash an improbable overhead kick.
4. vs. Guingamp 2002
Ronaldinho was forever loved in Paris, during his time for Paris Saint Germain. He constantly entertained fans with outrageous skills, and constantly left strewn bodies of defenders in his wake.
His goal away at Gunigamp in the season of 2002/03 was a goal that showed his unstoppable ability on the dribble. Picking the ball up on the halfway line, Ronaldinho played a one-two, before clipping the ball over an oncoming tackle.
The last few defenders left in his sight were turned into a confused state with his mesmerising step-overs, culminating with the most cheeky dink over the Guingamp goalkeeper.
3. vs. Sevilla, 2003
Ronaldinho arrived at Barcelona with some fans holding reservations over his signing. He didn’t look like your traditional Barcelona player. He was zealous, flamboyant, and had his overly slicked hair tied down in a ponytail.
But on one night, in a game against Sevilla, with one thunderous strike, the Brazilian put those reservations to an eternal sleep, as he rifled a 30-yard shot in off the crossbar.
2. vs. Real Madrid, 2005
Any goal that invokes a standing ovation from your bitter rivals deserves to be in the list, and Ronaldinho did just that. Real Madrid fans are born to hate anything Barcelona, but on one night, they fell in awe with Barcelona’s Ronaldinho.
His performance at the Santiago Bernabéu was so scintillating that it made Madrid fans forget about their allegiances. A performance culminated in a solo goal laden with skipping past the most lacklustre of tackles.
It was almost as if the Madrid players conceded to his greatness. Who could blame them? Because on that night, he was beyond great.
1. vs. Chelsea, 2005
If you were to ask anyone to recall any iconic Ronaldinho goal, they’d retell the events of his goal at Stamford Bridge.
It was March 8th and Barcelona visited Chelsea in the first knockout round of the Champions League. It was the second leg, which means the stakes were high.
Ronaldinho picked up the ball on the edge of the Chelsea area; surrounded by one, two, three, maybe four Chelsea players, time seemed to stop, or perhaps the Brazilian in all his glory slowed time down to a deafening silence.
He struck fear in his foes, and capitalising on their hesitation, with one lithe movement of his right leg he darted a flick, with the outside of his boot, into the back of the Chelsea goal, in the blink of an eye.
It took a while for the Chelsea players to wake up from their comatose state to discover what had actually transpired.
Ernesto Valverde has said that there is not one specific moment that has been his best experience as the Barcelona manager since taking over the reigns at the Camp Nou in July, claiming that he hopes “the best is yet to come.”
The 53-year-old took over Barcelona at the beginning of the season, his latest appointment in an impressive 15-year career as a manager.
Forget Dembele, forget Coutinho and don’t even mention Paulinho. Barca’s signing of the season is Valverde.
— O L A M I (@Feezybrown) January 14, 2018
However, when asked what his best moment was with the Blaugrana ahead of the Derbi barceloní, Valverde struggled to pick one standalone moment.
“There’s no special moment in my Barça career so far,” he said, as quoted by Sport. “There are many moments which have been important.
“The comeback against La Real, the games against Juve – the game at home especially because it came early on, it was important and it served to win the group. The away game, too. But I hope the best is yet to come.”
Barcelona return to action on Wednesday for the first-leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final match against their local rivals, RCD Espanyol.
The Blaugrana secured a breathtaking 8-0 win over Real Murcia over two legs in their first Copa del Rey fixture of the season, with an aggregate 6-1 thumping of Celta Vigo helping Valverde’s side reach the quarter-finals.
?The lawyer of Brazilian footballing sensation and world’s most expensive player Neymar has show his Instagram followers the cheque used to pay for the 25-year-old’s transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, and it’s pretty fascinating stuff.
Despite the fact that there have been reports claiming that Neymar regrets his move to PSG, one man who definitely doesn’t is his lawyer – Marcos Motta. There’s absolutely no doubt that he made a shed load of money on the Brazilian’s transfer and you can tell how proud he is of the switch just by viewing his current Instagram story.
The super lawyer, who boasts over 7,000 followers on Instagram – and quite regularly promotes his fitness website ‘Be Bang’, has a print out of the cheque used to move Neymar from Catalonia to Paris framed on his desk – along with various other interesting show-off pieces.
Now, by the time you come to reading this article, it is very likely that the story will have expired. But fear not. Thankfully, we’re switched on enough to have caught a screenshot of the cheque, so no one is to miss out; take a look right here:
There it is in all its glory. How magnificent? The amount of zeros on that is nuts.
Obviously all the finer details have to be covered up and there’s no actual proof that the piece of paper itself is regarding Neymar, but come on – who’s going round just throwing €220m away like that?
The current rumours floating around are that Real Madrid are interested in bringing Neymar back to La Liga, and have set aside €200m for his return – but you can’t help but think that PSG are going to give him up without a fight; and that’s if he even wants to leave.
Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta swapped the turf of the Nou Camp for the day to try a very different sport: American football.
Proving there is a first time for everything, the product of La Masia battles takes on a new challenge in an advertising campaign of an online broker.
The new campaign was released to encourage the general public to ‘try something new’ and sees the small Spanish midfielder seemingly out of his depth engaging in a face off with a team of American football giants.
Iniesta who signed a two-year contract with the option of extending it to three is the new ambassador of the brand and spoke via Mundo Deportivo
He said: “
?Barcelona fans, however, will be hoping their captain doesn’t get too used to trying new things, with the prospect of linking up with new £142m man Philippe Coutinho on the horizon.
??Barcelona currently sit nine points clear at the top of La Liga and Iniesta will be looking to capture his ninth Spanish league title this year, to add to an already glittering career.
Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen has admitted that he’s happy to warm the bench at Camp Nou while teammate Marc Andre ter Stegen continues his immaculate form between the sticks – admitting that the team’s success is more important than his own.
Despite being previously ?linked with a move to Newcastle this month, Cillessen seems content to only feature in Barca’s Copa del Rey matches this season, while Ter Stegen takes the league games as well as the Champions League.
And while many would question their position within the team in the Dutchman’s situation, the keeper recognises his teammate’s outrageous ability:
“Ter Stegen is having world-class performances and I accept it as it is. If it were not so, maybe I could ask why I do not play anymore, but at the moment things are like that.”
Cillessen says to @javiergiraldo: With the level Ter Stegen’s at, it would be crazy to hope to play more! If he wasn’t playing like he is, maybe I would be asking more questions, but he is and it is how it is https://t.co/TNmKthiPRM
— Samuel Marsden (@samuelmarsden) January 16, 2018
Players could understandably fall out with teammates with whom they are competing, but the calm head on Cillessen’s shoulders remains on very good terms with Ter Stegen, admitting that the two are constantly looking to help each other in training:
“Our relationship is good and the trainings with him are fun. We give advice and discuss details of the training, what he lived in Germany and me in Holland, the different ways of working, and always thinking about the best for the team.”
Wednesday night will see the Dutch stopper handed a rare opportunity as Barca travel to Espanyol in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter final. He’ll be looking to emmulate the same immaculate form as last season.