Ronaldinho Gaucho set the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor stadium ablaze as the Goa 5s thrashed the Bengaluru 5s 7-2. The former Barcelona man single-handedly inspired his team to a win scoring 5 goals and completing his hat-trick in the first half. The Bengaluru 5s had no answer to his masterclass as he rolled back the years in Chennai showing the world even at the age of 36, he still has some tricks left up his sleeve.
There’s hardly anyone who can hate this Wizard. Only a few Barcelona players have managed to get a standing ovation from the ruthless Madridistas at the Santiago Bernabeu. He is loved by fans all over the globe. But do you know the two-time FIFA World Player Of The Year has been playing Futsal since childhood ?
Growing Up in Brazil
Ronaldinho was born in a family of football players. His father was a professional football player and a welder. He says, "My uncles, my father ,and my brother were all players. Living with that kind of background, I learned a great deal from them. I tried to devote myself to it more and more with the passage of time.”
He started playing football at the age of 7. Growing up in a poor neighborhood of the city of Porto Alegre, he started playing ‘Futsal’,a faster,indoor and shorter version of football where each side has only 5 players.The Ballon d’Or winner once explained the contribution of Futsal to his glittering career, "A lot of the moves I make originate from futsal,It's played in a very small space, and the ball control is different in futsal. And to this day, my ball control is pretty similar to a futsal player's control."
Ronaldinho’s early exposure to Futsal shaped his unique style of play. Some people are born with talent and some people work harder to be successful .The 2002 World Cup Winner is a combination of both. The Brazilian improved his skills in indoor football training. Those Futsal training sessions were very instrumental in shaping his unique style based on dribbling, skills ,and ball control .
Playing Futsal and Football from such an early age, Ronaldinho quickly developed into Brazil’s youth sensation and received a call-up for Brazil’s U-17 national team. The rest is history. The playmaker has won many major honors for club and country including Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Player of The Year, the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Champions League.
The presence of “Gaúcho” in the Premier Futsal League is an excellent opportunity for young Indian players. Playing alongside him would be a great chance for the players to learn a few tricks from him. Let’s hope the PFL will work as a platform nourishing the young talent in the country and maybe, just maybe, create the next Baichung Bhutia.