Written by El-Khoury
There are many players and opponents that you love to… hate them! If you support Real Madrid, you can hate Messi and adore Cristiano Ronaldo. You can bring a lot of arguments for each of them, and discuss each strength or weakness with detail. Messi or Ronaldo? Or both? Anyway, and in any case there is no one who doesn’t love… Ronaldinho.
Because that’s football. A man who just did what he liked and played clearly for himself. You saw him on Saturday doing “his own game” at the Bernabeu and on Sunday was at the Greek singer Antonis Remos for a fantastic night because he just wanted to. But beyond that, recognition and respect were coming from everyone!
It was November 19, 2005 when Barcelona and Real Madrid were playing a crucial game as both teams went hand in hand for the title. That night, Ronaldinho played the best game of his career. He literally danced Sergio Ramos and his teammates. The result was to win the biggest “title” anyone could win… respect from his opponents. Ronaldinho forced the hated opponent’s fans to rise from their seats and applaud him.
But how he did it?
The game started and Ronaldinho was in a good mood. Unique dribbles that a few can still do today, with passes alike to surgical precisions, and unique finishes. Ronaldinho was just very impressive.
The standing ovation from the opponents
And yet during “el clasico”, and with the atmosphere tense, he did what no one expected. By the time Ronnie scored his second goal and third for Barça, 80,000 Real Madrid fans got up from their chairs and applauded him. It was the day that Ronaldinho left his mark on the history of world football. And when he was asked how he managed to gain the respect of his opponents, he noted, “I always played just to have a good time. I always did that. Isn’t that all you need?”
This is Ronaldinho. A gifted footballer, one of the few counted on the fingers of one hand, by the Gods of football and who lived every moment every time he played. A boy who only wanted to kick the ball, a man who always had a smile on his face and gave a great feeling to each fan every time they watched him.