Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Know Your Star- Ronaldinho


Ronaldo de Assis Moreira


Ronaldinho signed for Barca in the 2003-04 season following in the footsteps of a number of illustrious fellow countrymen who had enjoyed successful careers with the club: Evaristo, Ronaldo, Romario and Rivaldo.

Ronaldinho began his footballing career with Gremio de Porto Alegre, where his burgeoning talent soon brought him to the attention of the international football world. During the four seasons he spent there, from 1997 to 2001, Ronaldinho also started to claim a place in the Brazilian international side. He won the Copa America in 1999 scoring six goals, including a memorable effort against Venezuela.

In 2001, Ronaldinho decided to try his luck in European football and signed for French league outfit PSG though his debut was delayed due to a financial dispute between the two clubs. Although his time with PSG was not as successful as he would have hoped, Ronaldinho continue to prosper with the international team, winning a World Cup winners' medal at the 2002 Japan-Korea championships.

Right from his very first match in a Barca shirt, the fans were seduced by Ronaldinho's spectacular brand of footballing magic. His ability to change the course of a match with a brilliant solo effort made him the reference point of the Barca attack and one of the truly great footballing icons of the opening decade of the new millennium.

In his first season, the team strung together a sensation run of seventeen consecutive matches without defeat and finished in second place in La Liga, thereby achieving direct qualification for the Champions League. This impetus carried on to the 2004-05 season and Ronaldinho and the rest of the Barca squad soon established a lead at the top of the table that would take them to the league title. In addition, the Brazilian's tremendous talent has received public recognition with individual awards such as the FIFA World Player 2004 and 2005 and the Ballon d'Or 2005.

Since then, Ronaldinho has become the leader of the mighty Brazil side, with which he won a Confederations Cup winners' medal in Germany 2005.

However, the season of 2005/06 was dominated by Ronaldinho and Barça. With the Brazilian at the helm, the blaugrana won La Liga and the Champions League; mesmerizing everyone in the world of football with his agile, rapid and above all, efficient displays. To cap it all off, Ronaldinho was chosen Best player of the Champions League, by UEFA.


CHARACTERISTICS

Skilful, agile, extrovert, fast, inspired, magical. That's Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, known by the nickname of 'Ronaldinho Gaucho'. The Brazilian star grew up with a football glued to his feet in the heart of a family with strong footballing traditions, where both his father and his brother have been successful players.

Ronaldinho's greatest assets are speed and boundless technical skills. His natural position is behind the striker though with the ball at his feet he moves well anywhere in the attack. Although he is not principally a goal scorer, his outstanding ability enables him to score from the most unlikely situations.


Indeed, his reserves of tricks and dribbling skills seem to be inexhaustible and the fans are constantly surprised by his range of seemingly impossible moves. His combinations with the rest of his team mates in attack increase the team's attacking potential enormously.

He is also an outstanding practitioner of the free kick, with the ability to curve the ball around the defensive wall and place the ball in any part of the goal beyond the keeper's reach.

HONOURS

FC Barcelona
2006-07 - Spanish Supercup
2005-06 - Champions League
2005-06 - League
2005-06 - Spanish Supercup
2004-05 - League

National Team of Brasil
2004-05 - FIFA Confederations Cup
2001-02 - World Cup
1998-99 - America Cup
1996-97 - World Cup under 17

Individual Awards
2003-04 - FIFA WORLD PLAYER
2004-05 - Ballon d'Or
2004-05 - FIFA WORLD PLAYER

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