After years of magic, Barcelona icon draws the career on his glittering career

Ronaldinho Gaucho has announced his retirement from football, as the Barcelona legend calls time on a glittering playing career aged 37.

A World Cup winner with Brazil, Ronaldinho has announced his retirement his brother/agent Roberto Assis has confirmed. The Brazilian, who also won the Champions League and Ballon d’Or in a glittering trophy-laden career, has not played for a professional football team since leaving Fluminense back in 2015.

Last July, Ronaldinho said on the sidelines of a friendly in Russia that he is “too old” to return to action. The former Barcelona star was once a part of the triumphant Brazil 2002 World Cup squad and he also won the Champions League in 2006- a year after having collected the Ballon d’Or. Roberto Assis confirmed the news of his brother’s decision in a column for the Brazilian media outlet ‘O Globo’ and also revealed the plans for his brother’s farewell tribute events after the 2018 World Cup- three years after Ronaldinho played his last professional game.

Assis said: “He[Ronaldinho] has stopped, it is ended. Let’s do something pretty big and nice after the Russia World Cup, probably in August. We will do various events in Brazil, Europe, and Asia and, of course, we are arranging something with the Brazilian team as well.”

Assis, who also confirmed that Nike would also be involved in his farewell events, added: “The fact that he has been Barcelona’s ambassador for 10 years makes it a lot easier out there. He is wanted there and here (back in Brazil).”

Playing Career:

Ronaldinho is regarded as one of the greatest and most skillful players of his time. Due to his ability to score and create some amazing goals, he has played in several offensive positions, on either wing or in a central role. Throughout his entire playing career, he was deployed as a forward, a winger, although he usually played a classic number 10 in an attacking midfield role.

He began his playing career with playing for Gremio in his home country, before moving to Paris Saint-Germain in 2001. His performances at the 2002 World Cup drew interest from Europe’s elite clubs, and then back in 2003, he joined Barcelona. His time at the Camp Nou saw him reach the pinnacle of his club career, where he won two league titles, two Supercopa de España, the 2005 Ballon d’Or and the Champions League in 2006.

After a period of huge success at the club, Ronaldinho soon lost his focus and was sold to Milan in 2008 as Pep Guardiola replaced Frank Rijkaard as the manager of the club. The playmaker also experienced some failure on the international stage, after a disappointing spell in 2006 World Cup and missing out on selection in 2010, despite a revival in the form that helped Milan win the Series A title during the 2010-11 season.

Soon at the end of that season, Ronaldinho returned to Brazil. During his time in the home country, he played for Flamengo, Atlético Mineiro, and Fluminense, as well as a brief spell with Querétaro in Mexico. The playmaker earned 98 caps for Brazil from 1999 to 2013.

Author’s Take-

Simply with Ronaldinho hanging up his boots, it’s the end of an era. What he did was just unthinkable. His amazing dribbling and knack for scoring some incredible goals will surely be missed. He now leaves the sport having blessed millions of fans with the cherished memories of his play. He will surely go down in the history books as one of the best players to ever grace a football pitch.

Good Bye, Ronaldinho!

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