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.