Friday, December 7, 2007


Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (born 21 March 1980 in Porto Alegre, Brazil) is a footballer more commonly known as Ronaldinho Gaúcho, due to his being from the Rio Grande do Sul state of Brazil, or simply Ronaldinho.

His name Ronaldinho , Portuguese for "little Ronaldo", was originally devised as a means of distinguishing between himself and fellow Brazilian footballer Ronaldo. Among his many achievements and accolades, Ronaldinho has been awarded the FIFA World Player of the Year award twice as well as both the European Footballer of the Year award and the FIFPro World Player of the Year award once. He is widely regarded as the best current player in the world by fans, pundits and peers alike, although he himself considers such talk ridiculous, having told FourFourTwo magazine, "I don't even feel I'm the best at Barça."

Personal life

Ronaldinho's mother Miguelina is a former door-to-door salesperson and nurse. His father João was a shipyard worker and amateur footballer for Cruzeiro. João died when Ronaldinho was 8, after suffering a heart attack while swimming in the family's pool. Ronaldinho's older brother Roberto played professional football for Gremio before injuries ended his career prematurely; he now manages Ronaldinho. Ronaldinho's son, named João after his father, was born on 25 February 2005. João's mother is Janaína Nattielle Viana Mendes, a former dancer on the Brazilian television show Domingão do Faustão.

In his childhood, Ronaldinho's skill in football began to blossom due to his particular interest in futsal and beach football, which later developed into a fondness for more standardised football. His first brush with the media came after a 23 goal flurry against a local team, at just 13 years of age. His reputation as a footballer was built up through his childhood, particularly since he was a prolific goalscorer in the Egypt 1997 under-17 world championship. His stylish play at the tournament also caught the eye of many.

He's a huge fan of Brazilian music, and occasionally plays the drums and sings with friends in Barcelona.

Professional career

He was introduced into the Brazilian national team in 1999. He debuted for the national team on June 26, 1999 against Latvia. In his first tournament participation he scored against Venezuela in the 1999 Copa América which the Brazilian team won.

Ronaldinho played a part in Brazil's successful 2002 campaign to win the World Cup. One of the highlights of the tournament was a 35-metre free kick he scored against England in the quarter-finals in Shizuoka. He was sent off soon after for a foul on Danny Mills. Following the sending-off, he was suspended for the semi final, but returned to Brazil's starting line-up for the 2-0 victory over Germany in the final.

On June 29, 2005, he played a pivotal role as the captain of the Brazilian squad which won its second FIFA Confederations Cup title, and was named Man of the Match in a 4–1 victory over Argentina in the final. Pelé named Ronaldinho in his 125 Top Living Footballers in March 2004.

Grêmio years

His career began in the youth team at Porto Alegre club Grêmio, under head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who would later coach the Brazilian national team to glory in the 2002 World Cup. His first senior appearance came in the 1998 Libertadores Cup, and his penchant for goalscoring was quickly displayed, his career soon generating speculation and interest due to his phenomenal ball control and ability to score. This was followed by his introduction into the Brazilian national team in 1999.

Towards the end of his career at Grêmio, in 2001, many clubs from all over the world, particularly Premiership teams in England, were eager to sign him as an attempt to attain a player who was both a "big name" and was also performing well. Despite several generous bids from Premiership teams, including a reported astronomical bid from Leeds, and several requests from Grêmio, Ronaldinho signed a five-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain, to whom he moved at the beginning of the following season.

Paris Saint-Germain years

In 2001 Ronaldinho left Grêmio to play European football. Despite bids from much larger clubs, he opted to play for PSG. During his time at PSG, the manager, Luis Fernandez, claimed that Ronaldinho was too focused on the Parisian nightlife rather than on his football, and complained that his holidays in Brazil would always drag on and never end at the scheduled times.

After the World Cup, having shown his worth on the international scene, there was no shortage on the interest from bigger clubs, and in 2003, Ronaldinho made it known he wanted to leave PSG after they failed to qualify for any European competitions. That set off a bidding war among the top clubs for his services.

Barcelona years
Ronaldinho with Deco

On July 19, 2003, FC Barcelona acquired Ronaldinho for GBP 18 million. Originally, Barcelona chairman Joan Laporta had promised to bring David Beckham to the club, but following his transfer to Real Madrid, Barcelona entered the running for Ronaldinho and beat Manchester United to his signature. It was thought that a failure on the part of the English and French clubs to agree a fee was the reason for Manchester United's deal falling through. Ronaldinho is said to have signed with Barcelona instead of Manchester United because of his friendship with former Nike executive in Brazil and Barcelona's then vice-president in charge of sports, Sandro Rosell. Ronaldinho's signing for Barcelona meant he followed in the footsteps of a number of illustrious fellow countrymen who had enjoyed successful careers with the club, including Evaristo, Romario, Ronaldo and Rivaldo.

Barcelona quickly showcased the talents of their new striker in an exhibtion match against AC Milan. The match occurred in front of 45,000 people at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. Barcelona had a 1-0 lead through most of the first half, and they increased their lead to 2-0 when Ronaldinho scored in the 51st minute. Having receved a short pass from Xavi, Ronaldinho fired a shot that spun around Fernando Redondo and into the net landing him his first goal for the club.

Ronaldinho continued to justify his purchase by returning from injury in the first half of the campaign to lead Barcelona to a second-place finish in La Liga during the 2003/04 season. Together with Samuel Eto'o, Deco, Xavi Hernandez, Ludovic Giuly and Henrik Larsson, he comprises part of an awesome strike force which reaped the 2004/05 La Liga title for FC Barcelona. On December 20, 2004, Ronaldinho was named FIFA World Player of the Year ahead of Arsenal's Thierry Henry and AC Milan's Andriy Shevchenko, with Barcelona having rejected a £60 million bid for him by Chelsea, according to Sandro Rosell.

In June 2005, Rosell resigned from the Barcelona administration following a bust-up with Joan Laporta, and it was feared that it would spell the eventual exit of Ronaldinho as well. His contract running to 2008, Ronaldinho was offered a contract until 2014, netting him £85 million, which he rejected, until he signed on September 1, 2005 a two-year extension of his original contract until 2010, with a minimum fee release clause, allowing him to leave should a club make an offer to Barcelona of £85 million for him.

On November 19, 2005, he scored two amazing solo goals to help FC Barcelona to a 3–0 win over arch-rivals Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid. After he scored his second goal of the night, his team's third, a large part of the Madrid faithful gave him a standing ovation, a rare feat which had not occurred since Diego Maradona was playing for Barcelona in 1985.

In September 2005, Ronaldinho was crowned FifPro Player of the year, an award voted for by his fellow professionals. He was also named in the FifPro team of the year.In November 2005 Ronaldinho was named as both the European Footballer of the Year and the best striker in the UEFA Champions League tournament of 2004/05. Ronaldinho is the third Brazilian to win the European Footballer of the Year Award. On December 19, 2005, he was again named FIFA World Player of the Year with 956 points, more than three times the 306 points of Chelsea's Frank Lampard, who finished second in the poll, and the 190 points of Barça teammate Samuel Eto'o, third. He was chosen for the UEFA team of 2005 for the third time running in January 2006. He received more votes than any other player in that team. Over 1.5 million people participated in that vote.

On March 7, 2006, in the 2nd leg of the Champions League first knockout round at Nou Camp, Ronaldinho avenged Barcelona's defeat to Chelsea in the same competition the previous year, gliding past the Chelsea defence to score. Although the game ended 1-1, Barcelona progressed to the Champions League Quarter Final. And in the semifinal first leg at AC Milan on April 18, 2006, Ronaldinho once again proved his expertise with a superb pass for the goal scored by Ludovic Giuly, which brought Barcelona a 1-0 victory. The second leg game on April 26 ended in a goaless draw despite a 70th minute scare from Andriy Shevchenko's disallowed goal. That result pushed Barcelona to a final against Arsenal F.C., who had not conceded a goal in ten Champions League matches.

On May 3 2006, Barcelona were crowned 2005/2006 La Liga champions after they beat Celta Vigo 1-0.

On May 17 2006, Barcelona became European Champions after defeating Arsenal 2-1 in the Champions League final, the goals coming from Samuel Eto'o and Juliano Belletti, who were both assisted by Henrik Larsson. Ronaldinho finished the season with 19 goals in all competitions, his best ever tally.


Some of the information in this article or section has not been verified and might not be reliable. It should be checked for inaccuracies and modified as needed, citing sources.

In December 2005, Ronaldinho and Mauricio de Sousa, a famous Brazilian comic book author, announced the creation of cartoon characters based on Ronaldinho, his brother and his mother. In the UK, the comic is published exclusively in children's football magazine, KiCK!

He has also signed a lucrative deal with Gaming giants Electronic Arts. Ronaldinho will now front box art of the FIFA Soccer franchise for many years to come.

He now earns more money than David Beckham per year through endorsments from major companies.



* Spanish La Liga: 2004-05 and 2005-06 with Barcelona
* Supercopa de España: 2005-06 with Barcelona
* UEFA Champions League: 2005-06 with Barcelona


* Under-17 World Cup 1996-97
* Copa America: 1998-99 2004-05
* FIFA World Cup: 2002
* Confederations Cup: 2004-05

Ronaldinho Personal information
Full name :Ronaldo de Assis Moreira
Date of birth: 21 March 1980
Place of birth: Porto Alegre, Brazil
Height: 1.81 m
Nickname: Ronaldinho, Ronaldinho Gaúcho

Club information
Current club FC Barcelona
Position Second Striker
Youth clubs Grêmio

Professional clubs*
2003- Grêmio
Paris SG
FC Barcelona
110 (37)
55 (17)
68 (24)

National team**
1999 – present Brazil 62 (27)

* Professional club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 2006.
* National team caps and goals correct as of 2006.