R o n a l d h i n o
Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (born 21 March 1980 in ), commonly known as Ronaldinho or Ronaldinho gaúcho,Brazilian footballer who plays for Milan and the Brazilian national team. He is widely regarded as one of the most gifted footballers of his generation.He is a free-kick specialist and has exceptional dribbling ability.
Ronaldinho, Portuguese for "Little Ronaldo," is known in Brazil by the nickname "Gaúcho," in order to distinguish him from Ronaldo, who was already called "Ronaldinho" in Brazil. Ronaldo simply went by his first name upon his move to Europe, thereby allowing Ronaldinho to drop the "Gaúcho" and remain simply as Ronaldinho.
Prior to his move to Milan, he played for Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, with whom he won his first Champions League in 2006 and he won the Ballon d'Or in 2005. He became a Spanish citizen in January 2007.
Biography and personal life
Ronaldinho was born in the city of Porto Alegre, capital of the Rio Grande do Sul state of Brazil. His mother, Dona Miguelina de Assis, is a former salesperson who studied to become a nurse. His father, João Moreira, was a shipyard worker and footballer for local club Esporte Clube Cruzeiro (not to be confused with Cruzeiro). He suffered a fatal heart attack in the family swimming pool when Ronaldinho was eight. After Ronaldinho's older brother, Roberto, signed with Grêmio, the family moved to a home in the more affluent Guarujá section of Porto Alegre, which was a gift from Grêmio to convince Roberto to stay at the club. Roberto's career was ultimately cut short by injury.
Ronaldinho's football skills began to blossom at an early age, and he was first given the nickname Ronaldinho because he was often the youngest and the smallest player in youth club matches. He developed an interest in futsal and beach football, which later expanded to organized football. His first brush with the media came at the age of thirteen, when he scored all 23 goals in a 23–0 victory against a local team. Ronaldinho was identified as a rising star at the 1997 U-17 World Championship in Egypt, in which he scored two goals on penalty kicks
Today, Roberto acts as Ronaldinho's manager, while his sister Deisi works as his press coordinator. Ronaldinho became a father for the first time on 25 February 2005, after Brazilian dancer Janaína Mendes gave birth to their son, who was named João after Ronaldinho's late father.
Ronaldinho's 2005 Nike advertisement, where he is given a new pair of boots and then proceeds to juggle a football and repeatedly volley it against the crossbar of a goal and recover it without the ball touching the ground, went viral on YouTube, becoming the site's first video to reach one million views.
Ronaldinho's career began with the youth squad. He made his senior side debut during the . In 2001, expressed interest in signing Ronaldinho, but the move collapsed after he could not obtain a work permit because he was a non- player who had not played enough international matches.He considered playing on loan with side , which never happened due to his involvement in a fake passport scandal in Brazil. In 2001, Ronaldinho signed a five-year contract with French side in a €5.1 million transfer.
Upon his arrival in , Ronaldinho was given the number 21 shirt and inserted into a lineup that included fellow and and . Ronaldinho made his league debut for the club on 4 August 2001 appearing as a substitute in a 1–1 draw with . Ronaldinho spent the majority of the 2001 portion of the season alternated between the bench and starter's role. He scored his first goal for the club on 13 October in a 2–2 draw against converting the in the 79th minute after having come on 10 minutes prior. After returning from the winter break, Ronaldinho went on a tear scoring a goal in four consecutive matches to open the new campaign. He recorded impressive goals against , , and . On 16 March 2002, Ronaldinho recorded a double in PSG's 3–1 victory against relegation strugglers . He scored his final league goal of the season in the club's 2–0 win over on 27 April.
Ronaldinho was also influential in the helping Paris Saint-Germain reach the semi-finals where they were eliminated by . In a Round of 16 match against , Ronaldinho scored two second half goals in the game after having entered the match as a half-time substitute. Despite Ronaldinho's initial success with the club, the season was marred by controversy with manager claiming that the Brazilian was too focused on the Parisian rather than football, and complained that his holidays in Brazil never ended at the scheduled times.
Despite repeated rifts with Fernández, Ronaldinho returned to the team for the with the player switching to the number 10 shirt. Though his performances in his sophomore season with the club were underwhelming compared to his first, Ronaldinho performed admirably with the club. On 26 October 2002, he scored two goals in Paris Saint-Germain's 3–1 victory over rivals . The first goal was a dazzling and curling , which curled past numerous Marseille players in the 18-yard box before sailing past . In the return match, he broke the hearts of Marseille supporters again scoring in Paris Saint-Germain's 3–0 cruising victory at the . Arguably Ronaldinho's most greatest performance during the season came in the when he scored both goals in the club's 2–0 win over Bordeaux in the semi-finals, which inserted Paris Saint-Germain into the final. After scoring his first goal in the 22nd minute, Ronaldinho capped the game in the 81st minute by cheekily, yet accurately chipping the ball at the 18-yard box over the head of goalkeeper , despite Ramé being in a favorable position. For his performance, Ronaldinho was given a by the . Unfortunately for the club, Ronaldinho and the team failed to capture the form that got them to the final as the bowed out 2–1 to Auxerre due to a last minute goal from . Despite Ronaldinho's performances, the club finished in disappointing 11th place position. Following the season, Ronaldinho declared he wanted to leave the club after the capital club failed to qualify for any European competition.
Originally, president had promised to bring to the club, but following his transfer to , Barcelona entered the running for Ronaldinho and outbid for his signature in a €32,250,000 transfer. He made his team debut in a friendly against at in , scoring one goal in a 2–0 victory. After suffering from injury during the first half of the campaign, he returned and helped lead Barcelona to a second-place league finish.
Ronaldinho won his in 2004–05, and was named on 20 December 2004. In 2005, Ronaldinho received his second consecutive honour of FIFA World Player of the Year, beating 's and fellow Barça player . On 8 March 2005, Barcelona was eliminated from the by in the , with Ronaldinho scoring both goals in a 4–2 loss.
With his contract expiring in 2008, Ronaldinho was offered an extension until 2014 that would have net him £85 million over nine years,but he turned it down. In September 2005, he signed a two-year extension that contained a minimum-fee release clause that allowed him to leave should a club make an offer to Barcelona of at least £85 million for him.
By the end of the 2004–05 season, Ronaldinho had started to accumulate a host of personal awards. He won the inaugural in September 2005, in addition to being included in the 2005 , and being named the 2005 . Also that year, Ronaldinho added to his collection a second with 956 points, more than triple the amount (306) of runner-up . On 19 November, Ronaldinho scored twice as Barcelona defeated 3–0 on the road in the first leg of . After he sealed the match with his second goal, he received a standing ovation from the Madrid fans.
Ronaldinho was chosen for the UEFA Team of the Year for the third consecutive time in January 2006, and he contributed one goal in Barcelona's elimination of in the 2005–06 Champions League quarterfinals with a 2–0 home victory. After a 1–0 semifinal aggregate win over Milan, in which Ronaldinho assisted the series' only goal by , Barcelona progressed to the , which they won on 17 May 2006 with a 2–1 defeat of . Two weeks earlier, Barcelona had clinched their second straight La Liga title with a 1–0 win over , giving Ronaldinho his first career double. He finished the season with a career-best 26 goals in all competitions, and was named the 2005–06 Champions League Player of the Year.
On 25 November 2006, Ronaldinho scored his 50th career league goal against , then later scored a second time with an overhead . He later said to reporters that the latter was a goal he had dreamed of scoring since he was a boy. He scored once and set up two others in Barcelona's 4–0 win over Mexico's on 14 December, but Barcelona were defeated 1–0 by Brazilian club in the final. Ronaldinho was nonetheless the recipient of the Bronze Ball Award for the competition.
The next day, Ronaldinho finished third in the running for the 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year, behind World Cup-winning captain and . Ronaldinho was named among the for the third straight time in January 2007, receiving the highest number of votes with over 290,000 nominations. He was forced to miss a charity match on 13 March due to an injury he had picked up several days earlier in Barcelona's 3–3 El Clásico draw with Real Madrid.
He played his 200th career match for Barcelona in a league match against on 3 February 2008. However, his 2007–08 campaign as a whole was plagued by injuries, and a muscle tear in his right leg on 3 April prematurely ended his season. On 19 May, Laporta stated that Ronaldinho needed a "new challenge," claiming that he needed a new club if he were to revive his career. owner confirmed on 6 June that he was interested in acquiring him.
Ronaldinho and Barcelona teammate each captained a team of international stars in an anti-racism exhibition match in on 28 June, which ended in a 7–7 draw. Ronaldinho finished with a pair of goals and two assists in what would be his last match as a Barcelona player.
In July 2008, Ronaldinho turned down a £25.5 million offer from to join Italian giants on a three-year contract thought to be worth around £5.1 million (€6.5 million) a year, for a fee in the region of £14.5 million (€18.5 million). With the number 10 already occupied by teammate , he selected 80 as his jersey number, because 1980 was his birth year.
Ronaldinho scored his first goal for Milan in a 1–0 victory over rival on 28 September 2008. His first brace was in a 3–0 win over on 19 October 2008. He scored a 93rd-minute match-winner against in the group stage on November 6.
He finished his first season at Milan with 10 goals from 32 appearances in all competitions. After a good start to the season, Ronaldinho struggled with fitness, and was often played from the bench to end a disappointing first season for Milan.
His second season did not begin on a high note, although he started nearly every match before finding himself on the bench again. After a while, Ronaldinho rediscovered his form and has been arguably Milan's best player in the season. He has changed his role from an attacking midfielder to a left winger, a more familiar role.
On 10 January 2010, Ronaldinho scored two goals against in an away match, sealing a 3–0 victory for the Rossoneri. In the following match against on 17 January 2010, Ronaldinho scored his first hat-trick for Milan when he converted a spot kick, scored with a header from a corner and finished with a wonder goal from 30 yards out.
On 16 February, Ronaldinho played his first match against in a game. He scored early in the game to give Milan the lead. Milan ended up losing the game 3–2, with a goal from and two goals from .
As of 13 April 2010, Ronaldinho is the assist leader of Serie A with a total of 13 assists. On a less positive note, Ronaldinho has so far missed three penalties in the 2009–10 season, to add to one botched kick the previous season. Ronaldinho ended the season scoring two goals against Juventus, opened the scoring and went on to win 3–0. It was last game in charge.
Ronaldinho is one of few Brazilian players to have played at every international age level. He was part of the first Brazilian team to win the in 1997, in which his first goal was a penalty against in the first group match, which Brazil won 7–0. Ronaldinho finished with two goals and was awarded the Bronze Ball award as Brazil scored a total of twenty-one goals while only conceding two.
1999 was a busy year for Ronaldinho in terms of international play. He took part in the , scoring his first goal in Brazil's last group match. In the round of sixteen, he scored two first-half goals in a 4–0 win over , and finished with three goals as Brazil were eliminated by in the quarterfinals. On 26 June, three days before the start of the , he earned his first cap for Brazil in a 3–0 win over , and he scored one goal during Brazil's victorious Copa América campaign. One week after the conclusion of the Copa América, he was called up for the , in which he scored in every match except the final, including a hat-trick in an 8–2 semifinal rout of . Ronaldinho did not score in the final, which Brazil lost 4–3 to . He won the Golden Ball award for the best player in tournament as well as the Golden Boot award for the tournament top-scorer.
In 2000, Ronaldinho participated in in , with . Earlier that year, Ronaldinho led Brazil to win the , scoring nine goals in seven matches. However in the Olympics, Brazil was eliminated in the quarterfinal by , who later won the gold medal. Ronaldinho appeared four times and scored only one goal, which came in the quarterfinal defeat by Cameroon.
Ronaldinho participated in his first in 2002, as part of a formidable offensive unit with and , who were also on the winning squad. He appeared in five matches and scored two goals. The first goal came in the group stage match against , which Brazil won 4–0. The second goal was a match-winning goal in the quarterfinal against on 21 June. In the 50th minute, Ronaldinho took a free-kick from 35 metres, beating England goalkeeper to give Brazil a 2–1 lead. However, seven minutes later, he was sent-off for a foul on England defender . He was suspended for the semifinal, but returned to Brazil's starting lineup for the 2–0 victory over in the final as Brazil won the World Cup for the fifth time.
Ronaldinho's next international tournament was . However, Ronaldinho did not manage to score any goals during the tournament as Brazil performed poorly and was eliminated in the group stage. The following year, he was left out from Brazil's squad, as coach decided to rest his stars and used a largely reserve squad.
He was the capitain of Brazil to its second title in 2005, and was named in a 4–1 victory over archrivals in the final on 29 June. Ronaldinho scored three goals in the tournament and is tied with as the tournament's with nine goals
Ronaldinho started in all five of Brazil's finals matches as part of a much-publicized "magic quartet" of offensive players, alongside , , and . However, the foursome finished with only five goals as Brazil disappointed as a whole in the tournament. Ronaldinho turned in his worst collective performance in his international career, going scoreless with only one assist, which was for 's goal in a 4–1 group stage victory over . He was a non-factor as Brazil was eliminated by France 1–0 in the quarter-finals, in which Brazil had only one shot on goal for the entire match.[ The team was harshly criticized by Brazilian fans and media following their return home. On 3 July, two days after Brazil's elimination, vandals immolated and destroyed a 7.5-meter (23-foot) tall and statue of Ronaldinho in . The statue had been erected in 2004 to celebrate his first FIFA World Player of the Year award. That same day, Ronaldinho, joined by Adriano, returned to Barcelona and held a party at his home, which was continued into the early morning hours at a nightclub. This aggravated the hard feelings of many Brazilian fans, who believed that they were betrayed by the lack of effort from the squad.On 24 March 2007, he scored twice in a 4–0 win over , which marked his first goal since the 2005 Confederations Cup final and thus ended a scoreless streak that lasted nearly two years. He was not called up for the after asking to be excused from the tournament due to tiredness.[ On 18 October, he was controversially benched by Barcelona after he was late returning to Spain following Brazil's 5–0 friendly win over . He and several Brazil players celebrated the win by partying through the night at a posh nightclub. Ronaldinho left at 11 a.m. the next morning, allegedly in the trunk of a car in order to avoid the media.
On 7 July 2008, Ronaldinho was named to Brazil's squad as one of the over-age players. Barcelona initially blocked the move because of his then-upcoming Champions League commitments with the club, but the decision was later nullified following Ronaldinho's transfer to Milan, who in turn permitted him to make the trip to Beijing. Ronaldinho scored his only two goals in a decisive 5–0 victory over before Brazil were beaten by Argentina in the semifinal. Brazil finished with the bronze medal after defeating 3–0 in the bronze medal match.
Despite having returned to good form and being named as a member of the 30-man provisional squad that was submitted to FIFA on 11 May 2010,he was not named in Coach Dunga's final squad of 23 for the Brazilian squad in South Africa for the despite his deep desire to do so. Critics have claimed that the exclusion of players such as Ronaldinho, , and signals a move away from the classic Brazilian attacking "" style of play