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He was lovely at Barcelona before Messi. The story of Ronaldinho’s high-profile transfer from PSG

Date: June 25, 2024 Time: 12:07:35

20 years ago, one of the most significant transitions in football history took place: 23-year-old Ronaldinho swapped PSG for Barcelona. His transfer cost the Catalans 32.25 million euros Now, for this money (excluding inflation, of course) you can buy half of Malcolm, and then all of Ronaldinho. On July 27, Barcelona held a freight train with Juventus (2: 2), and the Brazilian entered the field at halftime. It was the newcomer’s first match at the Spanish giant.

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Why Ronaldinho left PSG

The period of the Brazilian in Paris (two years) can be called ambiguous. The first season is half unsuccessful. The technical footballer complicated the simplest situations, which wildly angered coach Luis Fernández. As a result, in the first round, Ronaldinho appeared on base only five times. You understand what the mood of the South American was. After Christmas, JJ Okocha left for the Africa Cup, and Ronnie got a guaranteed spot at the start. The Brazilian’s game has changed markedly, which benefited the Parisians. When Okocha returned, it was no longer possible to put Dinho on the bench.

In the summer of 2002, Ronaldinho was brilliant at the World Championship and took gold with Brazil. In the quarterfinals, the PSG player won the match with England (2: 1). Ronnie took a free kick around David Seaman’s neck and led the team to the semifinals. A goal that once again buried the hopes of the British for a successful performance in a major tournament. And who, among other things, glorified Ronaldinho.

Ronaldinho at the 2002 FIFA World Cup

Photo: Getty Images

At the end of the new season, PSG occupied only 11th place in the French championship. Now it is simply not realistic to imagine this. Ronaldinho was still in conflict with the coach. Fernandez accused the Brazilian: they say, he does not give one hundred percent. And he misses matches, citing minor injuries (here they’re a bit similar to Neymar, aren’t they?). After another conflict, Dinho said the following: “The coach just doesn’t like me to be happy.”

“Ronaldinho scored openly in training,” recalled former PSG player Jérôme Leroy. – He trained only on Friday to enter the field on Saturday. I think Ronaldinho was imitating Romario, who went out regularly, but he didn’t have that kind of success. Every morning, Ronaldinho came with sunglasses and slept on the massage table.

Ronaldinho at PSG

Photo: Eddy LEMAISTRE/Getty Images

A few years later, Fernández published his memoirs, in which he crushed Ronaldinho. The coach accused the Brazilian of selfishness, malnutrition and bad behavior. According to the expert, Dinho regularly roamed the nightclubs and also brought women into the room during the preparation of the games. However, the coach stressed that the boy has changed for the better after the successful 2002 World Cup.

Obviously, after the triumph in the tournament, the Brazilian lost motivation in the French championship. He gave his best in matches with strong opponents, but at the same time was lazy in games with less status. At the end of the season, the footballer openly declared his desire to leave Paris, because he wanted to play in European competitions. The PSG bosses realised they had to get rid of Ronnie.

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How the Brazilian ended up in Barcelona

Ronaldinho was not a priority option for the Catalan club. Barca presidential candidate Joan Laporta has vowed to buy David Beckham if he gets enough votes. The coach was not shy about strong phrases and said that the Englishman would turn Barca into one of the best clubs in the world. Naturally, Beckham himself was outraged that Laporta used it to promote his campaign.

“In 2003, we had to choose between Beckham and Ronaldinho,” Laporta recalled. “Manchester United said they would sell the Englishman if we won the election. Us they used, and Beckham ended up being bought by Real Madrid. We agreed with Manchester United that they would sell David if we agreed the details with his agent. We had conversations, he asked for time to think. We waited a long time for an answer, and then we bought Ronaldinho.”

The journalists had another version. According to her, Laporta did not consider the option of transferring David. He simply bought the electorate thanks to public relations on behalf of the Englishman, and Manchester United took more money from Real Madrid. It is true that the English club did not provide for everything.

David Beckham at the presentation in “Recerveza”

Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

After the failure with Beckham, Barca really turned their attention to the Brazilian. It is true that the player was also claimed by Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson saw Dinho as a replacement for Beckham. It looked like Manchester United would issue a high-profile transfer, and Barca would lose the second superstar. But Sandro Rosell, an adviser to Laporta, who later became vice president of the blue garnets, intervened in the matter.

He spoke to Ronaldinho and received his verbal consent: the Brazilian will move to Barca if Laporta wins the election. It is true that there was a very important nuance. Ronnie could move to any other club, if he received a decent offer before the end of the election. Manchester United did not have time to close the deal, and Rosel called Dinho on the day of Laporta’s victory.


former Barcelona footballer

“I went to Barça because of my friendship with Rosel. When I signed the contract, I didn’t feel any pressure. I’m proud to have ended up at a club where Romario, Ronaldo and Rivaldo used to play. I had the opportunity to become the new “R”.

Not only Ferguson was confident in the transfer of Ronaldinho, but also in some Manchester United players. “We are close to announcing the transfer,” said the legendary Paul Scholes. “At the last minute, he changed his mind and signed a contract with Barcelona. It’s a strange feeling, because we were all so excited. Ronaldinho, what a footballer! We thought it would bring something special, almost like Cantona. A few days later we played against Barça during the pre-season tour. Some of our players tried to kick Ronaldinho as hard as possible, because he refused to move to Manchester United.

By the way, there was another version. For example, Real Madrid initially wanted to buy not Beckham, but Ronaldinho. In 2004, the newspaper El País published an anonymous comment by a man from Florentino Pérez’s entourage. “It didn’t make sense to buy Ronaldinho, because he’s ugly. This would have a negative impact on the Real Madrid brand. Compare Beckham to Ronaldinho. Look at how handsome David is, a true gentleman. All of Asia fell in love with Real Madrid thanks to Beckham.”

It is still unclear how true this information was. It seems that it was just a filler of a Spanish newspaper. It’s been a long time since then, but not a single similar insider or new details have surfaced. Ronaldinho played at Barca for five years and during this time he won the First Division twice, won the Champions League and won the Ballon d’Or. It was he who loved the Catalan club before Lionel Messi did. Ronaldinho was so great that even Real Madrid fans applauded him at the Santiago Bernabeu.

How Ronaldinho made Real Madrid fans applaud:

“I looked at the stands, ‘What’s going on?’ How Ronaldinho made a special ‘classic’

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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