By Thomas Rooney
By Thomas Rooney
What does the future hold for Ronaldinho? What a difference three years can make. Back in 2005, Brazil star Ronaldinho was the main man at Barcelona and was voted European footballer of the year. Now, he is deemed surplus to requirements at Barcelona and the Spanish club are even having trouble offloading him.
What does the future hold for Ronaldinho?
What a difference three years can make. Back in 2005, Brazil star Ronaldinho was the main man at Barcelona and was voted European footballer of the year. Now, he is deemed surplus to requirements at Barcelona and the Spanish club are even having trouble offloading him.
The latest development is that the 28-year-old has been told by Barcelona that he is not allowed to play for Brazil in next month’s Olympic games, despite being named in Dunga’s squad for the Beijing tournament as one of the allowed over aged players.
With new Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola making it clear that he has no plans to play Ronaldinho in the up and coming La Liga season, why has he withdrawn the player from the Brazil squad? Well, in my opinion it can only be for two reasons.
First of all, there is no doubt that Ronaldinho has had fitness issues. Like his countryman Ronaldo, he has struggled with his weight in recent months. Guardiola’s thinking would be that no-one is going to sign an overweight 28-year-old. Therefore, allowing him to play in Beijing may not have been the best idea. Instead, he has informed the player that he is to report to training on Monday for the first training session ahead of the new season. This way, Barcelona can make sure the player gets fit meaning they can – a) sell him or b) use him in their Champions League qualifying match on 12th August.
The second reason he may have been withdrawn, may be to do with having trouble selling him on. Clubs are more likely to sign Ronaldinho if he is available for the beginning of the season. For instance, Manchester City – who have shown an interest in the Brazilian – have four Premier League games during the time Ronaldinho would be away with Brazil. This, culminated with doubts over his fitness may put them off signing him and this wouldn’t be in the best interests of Barcelona.
With regards to Ronaldinho’s future, I would put all my football betting money on him leaving the Nou Camp. Hardly a bold statement, but it has to be said. The question is, where does his future lie? The two interested parties so far are AC Milan and as I have previously mentioned – Manchester City. Of the two, I would encourage him to opt for the Premier League. He needs to fall in love with football again and the passion of English football could be the place to do that.
He has shown what he can do in Spain, now it is time for him to prove a few people wrong and perform in England. At 28-years-old he SHOULD still have some of his best years ahead of him. Everyone in football would like to see the Ronaldinho of a couple of years ago when he won the Champions League and back-to-back titles with Barcelona.
At the moment though, there isn’t only a doubt about whether he can reproduce this form, but there is also a doubt over where he will be given the chance to do so.
Thomas Rooney is a guest writer on La Liga Review