Five years ago today – a standing ovation for Ronaldinho in Madrid

19 Nov

On November 19, 2005, Frank Rijkaard took his Barcelona side to Madrid for another incarnation of El Clasico, which the visitors won 3-0. At the time, nobody would have guessed Rijkaard and his side would finish the season hoisting the La Liga and Champions League Trophy. Neither could anyone have foreseen the unprecedented events which transpired on the field.

A Samuel Eto’o goal 14 minutes into the match put the visitors ahead, but this night would belong to Ronaldinho. The first was a scintillating run down the left flank, leaving Sergio Ramos on his ass, and Iván Helguera and Iker Casillas helpless. For the second goal, he again made Ramos look pedestrian finishing ever so calmly to seal the win. Then the unthinkable – the Bernabéu rose to its feet to give the Brazilian, a Barcelona player, a standing ovation in one of the very few classy gestures in this extremely fierce rivalry.

Ronaldinho later capped off that season with the FIFA World Player of the Year award.


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