What’s the story?
In a heartwarming letter to an eight-year-old Ronaldinho published in The Player’s Tribune, Ronaldinho laid bare his feelings about the art in his play and the impact his father had on his game. The buck-toothed superstar also spoke about the impact of his move to Barcelona.
Ronaldinho writing to a younger self (8-year-old) stated, “What you’ll be most proud of, though, is helping to change football in Barcelona through your style of play. When you arrive there, Real Madrid will be the power of Spanish football. By the time you leave the club, kids will be dreaming of playing “the Barcelona way.”
The letter which reflected the career of the Brazilian also describes a budding Messi and how the Argentinean’s ability to dazzle left him and his teammates impressed. The one piece of advice that Ronaldinho had for Messi was to “Play with happiness. Play free. Just play with the ball.”
In case you didn’t know...
The ever-smiling Brazilian was one of the era-changing players during his time at the Nou Camp. His ability to trick his way past defenders often made him a difficult player to mark and as a result was often subjected to vicious fouls.
Nevertheless, the goofy smile often charmed his opponents as he went on to conquer Europe with Barcelona after arriving from PSG, winning both everything there was to be won.
The Brazilian’s import of the “blind pass” from watching hours and hours of NBA is a testament to the effort he used to put behind the scenes. He also exhibited his knack of dribbling in tight spaces – a skill he developed during his time playing Futsal at a time when FIFA was still to endorse it.
The heart of the matter
When the Brazilian arrived at the Nou Camp, there was at the time crisis of identity at the club. However, the Brazilian alongside manager Frank Rijkaard went on to be a part of the resurgent Barcelona team which blitzed its way to glory.
The Brazilian was the architect in a side possessing the likes of Samuel Eto’o, Henrik Larsson, Carles Puyol, Andres Iniesta, Xavi and the emerging Lionel Messi. The Brazilian’s playing style – a mix of art and objectivity as described by his former Gremio coach, Antonio Lopes, helped form a team which would go on to conquer the domestic scene in Spain.
And soon they spread their wings in Europe as well, as they were crowned the UEFA Champions League winners. And it was at this time that Ronaldinho wrote about in his letter to a younger self, as he stated, “Your role in this will be about much more than what you do on the pitch”
And true to his words, the Brazilian’s performances earned him personal accolades of the Ballon d’Or (twice) alongside team accolades as well. Although the standout moment of his time at Barcelona remains the standing ovation he received at the Santiago Bernabeu after he had helped demolish, Real Madrid 3-0 on the night.
Currently, the Brazilian is Barcelona’s club ambassador after terminating his contract with the Mexican team, Queretaro in June 2015 and subsequently, Fluminese. The move to Fluminense, ended on a sombre note when the Brazilian was booed off by his own fans.
The Brazilian’s impact did have a ripple effect on Barcelona as a club which then went on to establish a new era in World Football. And the recent letter is a heartwarming tribute to his former self and the excitement the Brazilian experienced during his time at the Nou Camp.
He was undoubtedly one of the greatest players during his time and his recent statements are not too far from the truth about the influence he left at the club.