Brazil has always produced footballers who went on to enthral the world football stage with their dazzling feet. Many players have done this footballing country proud over the years but one has always brought a sense of completeness to the supporters' hearts - Ronaldo de Assis Moreira. Or simply Ronaldinho.
Ronaldinho was not just another world class player to perform magic on the field for both club and country. He was more than a footballer in the saying's truest sense as the Brazilian was purely an emotion for his people. The smiling assassin embarrassed opponents on the field and was FC Barcelona's catalyst to success in the mid-2000s.
The inventor of the no-look pass, Ronaldinho, was often praised by ex-teammates and the legends of the game as one of the best to play the beautiful game. He was a flame of genius that burned incessantly but provided instances of his humanness during his wretched public appearances in pubs and nightclubs.
A Spanish journalist had once said, “In Madrid, the field at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium leans to the left because Alfredo Di Stéfano had played so much on this side.”
Same can be said about the enigma of the buck-toothed wizard of Brazilian football. A legend of the game, Ronaldinho was a heartbeat of an entire football loving generation. Without further ado, let's take a look at the 10 best quotes on the phenomenon that was Ronaldinho:
#1 Zinedine Zidane
“Ronaldinho is total class – a very, very great player. He is quick, powerful, and has extraordinary technical qualities. He is a dribbler but is also a player who can make the play for his teammates.
“He’s not really a No.10, a true organizer. He’s more a second attacker who can score goals and has the vision to make them.” - Zinedine Zidane
An iconic image of Zidane playing for France and Ronaldinho playing for Brazil defined the elegance in the game at that point. Both these players were nothing short of maestros and played the game with utmost poise. Coming from Zizou, this statement was a testament to Ronaldinho's prowess.
“No one can compare to Ronaldinho. He made history at Barca, he made history with Brazil and he’s still making history.” - Neymar
The current pin-up boy of Brazil was a childhood fan of Ronaldinho and made this comment when he joined Barcelona, following on the footsteps of his idol. Neymar has been sensational since his move to Camp Nou and might make his dream come true of being the true heir to his idol, Ronaldinho.
#3 Lionel Messi
“Ronaldinho was responsible for the change in Barça. It was a bad time and the change that came about with his arrival was amazing.
“In the first year, he didn’t win anything but people fell in love with him. Barça should always be grateful for everything he did.” - Lionel Messi
Messi and Ronaldinho shared a deep bond during the Brazilian's time with FC Barcelona. A young Messi scored his first goal for the club which was assisted by Ronaldinho himself.
When one starts a career with the help of a genius, he ought to achieve great heights. This in reality is Lionel Messi's case as the Argentine is now considered as one of the best players ever to grace the beautiful game. It is Ronaldinho who shaped the modern history of Barcelona and Messi's quote signifies the Brazilian's importance.
"It is always a difficult task to pick out the best player but for me, Ronaldinho has been the one who played for the longest duration at the top of his game." - Pele
Brazil's best player ever, Pele had always praised Gaucho for his effectiveness on the field as a result of his supreme skills. Pele regarded Ronaldinho as the player who would win the World Cup for Brazil and the dazzler did just that in 2002.
This comment of Pele reflected Ronaldinho's continued impact for Paris Saint-Germain, FC Barcelona and AC Milan.
#5 Carlo Ancelotti
"The important thing is to play with champions and Ronaldinho without doubt is one of them." - Carlo Ancelotti
Ancelotti managed Ronaldinho when the Brazilian was in decline and had to defend the player at times in press conferences. Though Ronaldinho found it tough to start games under the Italian, Ancelotti always spoke highly of him and made it clear by referring to the wizard as a champion.
#6 Frank Rijkaard
"He is the man that makes the difference between a team that plays well and another that is really memorable. Ronaldinho alone can decide one game." - Frank Rijkaard
Rijkaard and Ronaldinho joined Barcelona at the same time and reportedly clicked straight away. Recently, Ronaldinho named his Barcelona manager as the best he had worked with. This showed the amount of respect the duo had for one another and is reflected by the kind words mentioned above by the Dutch boss.
#7 Rui Costa
"There are not many players who can offer goal scoring passes like he can. He is just marvellous. He is a rare case of an assist man who can provide the ball from anywhere." - Rui Costa
Costa had once famously called the Brazilian an assist machine. Costa also once famously said that Gaucho was the best player that he played against.
#8 Sergio Ramos
“Ronaldinho was virtually unstoppable at his best, as a forward or a playmaker.” - Sergio Ramos
A compliment coming from an eternal rival should always be regarded in the highest order. Ramos and Ronaldinho went head to head against each other many a times with the Brazilian humiliating Ramos on a number of occasions, home and away.
Ronaldinho once received a standing ovation from the Bernabeu crowd which goes to show the respect that the rival crowd and the players had for the Brazilian.
#9 David Beckham
“There was a period in Ronaldinho’s time at Barcelona where he was almost unplayable. Effortless, relaxed, always with a smile on his face, he’s a genius with the ball.
“I love Brazilian football and he is one of the best ever players from that country.” - David Beckham
Another case of an opponent giving Ronaldinho the utmost respect. Beckham and he played together at AC Milan where they formed a solid bond which went beyond the football field. Beckham's comment just goes to show that despite being a superstar, he too loved Ronaldinho's game as a fan.
#10 Ray Hudson
"This is not normal. He's not normal, he never has been. He lives in the magnetic spectrum. What a goal this is. Beyond world-class. Astonishing. Cooler than a bomb disposal expert. That is amazing piece of football finishing by King Ronaldinho." - Ray Hudson
Hudson is a legendary commentator of the game who spoke like a man possessed by what he saw on the football field from the Brazilian. The legend of Ronaldinho can be summed up in one of Hudson's own phrases - King Ronaldinho!