Ronaldinho To Return Home

23 Dec

When Ronaldo de Assis Moreira arrived at Gremio at the ripe old age of 7, Porto Alegre and the rest of Brazil anticipated the arrival of Brazil’s future. Meanwhile, up the road in Belo Horizonte, Brazil’s present was crafting his skills at Cruzeiro before setting off on a rampaging, goal scoring career. The latter was of course the Ronaldo, and Porto Alegre needed to distinguish their young prodigy to make him their own. And so, Ronaldinho was born.

After 11 seasons in the youth ranks, Ronaldinho finally broke into the first team in 1998 and remained for 3 years, scoring 21 goals in 44 appearances, before moving to Europe. Now, 9 years after leaving Brazil, Ronaldinho is set to return home having come to an agreement with Gremio. All that’s left is for his agent to negotiate the release from AC Milan, who made a statement of Ronaldinho’s tenure at the club having acquired Antonio Cassano earlier in the week. For Europe, it is the end of one of the most memorable and spectacular campaigns ever witnessed. Something tells me the hometown fans in Porto Allegre have no sympathy for their pals across the pond.

Although he only played 3 seasons for Gremio, he made sure everyone knew his name after completely embarrassing Dunga twice with artistic strokes of brilliance (below). Dunga – Brazil’s 1994 World Cup winning captain. The rest as they say is history.

I first saw him in the flesh back in the spring of 2006 during a semester in Barcelona, perhaps the height of his club career. Every time I went to the Camp Nou, I expected the unexpected, and Ronaldinho never let me down with his mesmerizing dribbles and no-look passes. He just made everything look so effortless, and he always did it with a smile. That gaping horse mouth, the utmost illustration of his happiness on the pitch, will always endear him to me. And while I’m sad to see him go, it is simply another chapter of his illustrious career and I will surely be rooting for him to succeed (and remain out of the clubs and favelas in the wee hours of the morning).

Thanks ‘dinho. You’re weekly appearances on our televisions will be sorely missed. Enjoy your company.

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One Response to “Ronaldinho To Return Home”

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