He might not been the force he used to be anymore but Ronaldinho was still good enough to play until he hanged up his boots after 20 years of a glittering career.
The Brazilian legend was long past his peak where he used to create terror in opposition camp but was still good enough to find the back of the nets.
His brother and agent confirmed on Tuesday that one of the best players of his generation will not put his shoes any more.
The two times FIFA World Player of the Year and a Ballon d’Or winner was renowned for his technical skills and creativity; due to his agility, pace and dribbling ability, as well as his use of tricks, overhead kicks, no-look passes and accuracy from free-kicks.
Ronaldinho made his senior debut for Grêmio, in 1998. At age 20, he moved to Paris Saint-Germain in France before signing for Barcelona in 2003. In his second season with Barcelona, he won his first FIFA World Player of the Year Award, as Barcelona won La Liga.
The season that followed is considered one of the best in his career as he was instrumental in Barcelona winning the UEFA Champions League, their first in fourteen years, as well as another La Liga title, giving Ronaldinho his first career double. After scoring two spectacular solo goals in El Clásico, Ronaldinho became the second Barcelona player, after Diego Maradona in 1983, to receive a standing ovation from Real Madrid fans at the Santiago Bernabéu. Ronaldinho also received his second FIFA World Player of the Year award, as well as the Ballon d’Or.
He spent five years with Barcelona between 2003 and 2008, helping the Catalans win the Champions League in 2006, after being awarded the Ballon d’Or in 2005.
Roberto Assis, the brother and agent of the 2005 Ballon d’Or winner, announced Tuesday that the 37-year-old wants to play a series of farewell matches from August _ and then focus on his already busy life off the pitch.
Ronaldinho played his last professional match in 2015 for Brazilian club Fluminense.
Last July, Ronaldinho said on the sidelines of a friendly in Chechnya that was he was “too old” to return to action. He repeated that to a Brazilian TV in November, but did not rule out reconsidering.