Commonly known as Ronaldinho, Ronaldo de Assis Moreira is a Brazilian international footballer who created his own legacy a Camp Nou before going down as one of the best talents who couldn’t fulfil his potential. Played as attacking midfielder for most of his career, Ronaldinho has also played as a winger and forward for the clubs. The player has played for the elite European clubs like Paris St Germain, Barcelona and AC Milan. Ronaldinho has also featured for clubs like Gremio, Flamengo, Fluminense and Atletico Mineiro.
Born on 21st March 1980 in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil, Ronaldinho along with his family moved to Guarujá section of Porto Alegre when his brother signed for Gremio. Ronaldinho’s parents are Miguelina Elói Assis dos Santos and João de Assis Moreira who were nurse and shipyard professional respectively. Ronaldinho was born in a family which had footballers. Ronaldinho’s father played for a local club whereas his brother had signed for Gremio. Currently, Ronaldinho’s brother acts as the manager for Ronaldinho whereas his sister acts as a press coordinator for Ronaldinho.
Though poor, Ronaldinho started his footballing action on the scrapped grass yards but quickly developed into one of the hot youth prospects of football in Brazil. As the records go, Ronaldinho had scored 23 goals in a single game when he was just 13. Growing and going strong, the teenager Ronaldinho earned a call to Brazil’s Under-17 national team. The player’s efforts yielded positive results for the team as the Brazilian U-17 team won the FIFA U-17 World Championship in Egypt. Also, the player was awarded “tournament’s best player” for his excellent display. Following the scheme of things, Ronaldinho signed the first professional contract with Gremio which is one of the top football clubs in the Brazilian League.
The player firmly established himself as one of the best in Brazil and there came a time when he had to leave Brazil for greener pastures in Europe. Ronaldinho signed for Paris St-Germain in 2001 and participated in the 2002 FIFA World Cup which consisted of the likes of Rivaldo and Ronaldo. The team went onto win the title whilst the player scored two goals in five games which consisted of a winner against England in quarter-finals.
In 2003, the player completed his dream move when joined the Catalan giants, FC Barcelona which is one of the best and storied clubs with a past. The player wore No 10 jersey being the most creative player for three seasons. In 2004 and 2005, Ronaldinho won the highest accolade in the football i.e, FIFA World Player of the Year award. Also, in 2006, the player led Barcelona to Champions League triumph.
However, the star started to fade away when he joined one more legendary club in the football in 2008, AC Milan. However, with the glamorous lifestyle the player had started to lead, he couldn’t sustain the pressure on the field and delivered poor performances. Following his disastrous performances in Serie A, he was not selected for the Brazilian international team for the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa.
In 2011, the player went back to Brazil from Europe and joined Flamengo. The form of the player had got off to a great start when the club won Campeonato Carioca but the things turned ugly when he started missing the practice sessions. Also, the player cancelled his contract with the club due to the unpaid wage issues. In 2012, Ronaldinho signed for Atletico Minero where he showed the glimpses of his glorious past. However, he couldn’t keep it in the long run and terminated the contract with the club. The sporting manager of Atletico Minero said:
Ronaldinho asked us for a meeting. He respectfully told us he didn’t feel he was able to perform as good as he wanted and that it was a bad situation for him. He made a great gesture in saying he wasn’t being the player he felt he could be right now. I’ll never speak about whether or not he is retiring. That’s not something you say about a player of his calibre. He was always spectacular, as player and person.”
Honours and Accolades
- 1997: U-17 FIFA World Cup Winner. Voted MVP of Tournament
- 1999: Copa America Winner
- 2002: FIFA World Cup Winner
- 2004-2005: Primera Division Champion with F.C. Barcelona.
- 2006: Champions League with Barcelona
- 2000: FIFA Confederations Cup and Golden Boot Award – six goals
- 2004: FIFA World Player of The Year
- 2005: FIFA World Player of The Year
- 2005: FIFpro World Player of The Year.
- 2005: European Footballer of The Year – ‘Ballon d’Or’ Winner
Height: 180 cm
Weight: 75 kg
Name: Ronaldo de Assis Moreira
Parents: João de Assis Moreira and Miguelina Elói Assis dos Santos
Siblings: Roberto and Deisy
Spouse: Janaina Mendes