All you wanted to know about Ronaldinho

Following a captivating and jaw-dropping display of skills and great technique the entire Santiago Bernabeu rises to award the man of the moment and the match’s best performer with a standing ovation.

The player in question is not a Real Madrid player, but rather a star who wears the shirt of fierce rival Barcelona. His name is Ronaldinho and the year is 2005. He is the only player, besides Maradona, to receive such a standing ovation from opposition fans on Santiago Bernabeu. Juventus star Alessandro Del Piero was also on the receiving end of a standing ovation from the crowd and that in the Champions League many years ago.

After the match, the Brazilian star was deeply moved: “I will never forget this because it is very rare for any footballer to be applauded in this way by the opposition fans.”

After that Barcelona and Ronaldinho went on to win two league titles in a row (2005/06 and 2006/07) in addition to a list of individual awards for the talented Brazilian. The next season was troublesome for the Brazilian and injuries prevented him showing his magic on the football pitch.

This is where the downfall of Ronaldinho started, after 5 years with Barcelona he went to join AC Milan and it all went downhill for him. The Brazilian magician could never again find his touch and was plagued by injuries and poor form.

For more information on the Brazilian legend, check out the wonderful piece by our friends at who did great work with what happened to Ronaldinho. Make sure to check it out, you will not regret it.

Did Pep Guardiola really show Brazil great Ronaldinho the back door at Barcelona?


A story has emerged which claims that Pep Guardiola sold on both Ronaldinho and Deco at Barcelona because he allegedly thought they were bad influences on the up and coming Lionel Messi, could this be a true story?

Where did the story start? Well it has come from an ex Barcelona and Arsenal player Alexander Hleb who has come out with the claim 13 years after it happened.

Hleb said: “Ronaldinho and Deco came to training drunk that’s why Ronaldinho and Deco were sold in 2008. Because Barcelona were afraid that they would bring down Lionel Messi.”

At that time in the mid to late 2000s both Ronaldinho and Deco were seen as great players of their generation, especially Ronaldinho who was seen as the player who lifted Barcelona up again after their started the decade miserably. Under the brilliant Brazilian Barcelona regained their swagger and confidence and Ronaldinho quickly turned into a legend for the club, winning titles, including the 2006 Champions League and scoring some of the most outrageous goals for the club.

However it has also been claimed that Ronaldinho liked to throw his hair down and like some other Brazilian players before him relax when not playing football. Could it really be that Pep Guardiola could see this and did it really happen?

On one side there is no reason for Hleb to lie and make up a story from 2008, if we consider it to be true then it only emphasises how great Guardiola believed that Messi would be even at 21. The vision was already there from the club that the Argentine player would be with them for over 10 years and everything would have to be built around him, and that is the way it has turned out. Again if true then Guardiola did the right thing, but that is an incredibly brave move to make, less so for Deco who could turn it on sometimes but more so for Ronaldinho who genuinely was a superstar.

But Guardiola knew that Messi was going to be a triple superstar- and sacrifices were needed. It is an interesting story by Hleb given the fact that big name players have left the back door of Barcelona quietly shuffled on in the past- Romario and Rivaldo before Ronaldinho as an example.

One telling fact is that neither Guardiola, Deco or Ronaldinho have come out and spoken in defence of what Hleb has said.

One thing is sure if Guardiola did want to protect Messi then he did a great job of it.