Before the era of Lionel Messi, there was one South American forging his reputation as a legend in the famous colours of Barcelona.
The Blaugrana had a rich history of Brazilian stars, most noticeably Romario and Ronaldo Nazario, but Ronaldinho eclipses them both when it comes to the Spanish giants.
When he arrived from Paris Saint-Germain following a stunning 2002 World Cup campaign with the Selecao, he wasted no time in getting down to business.
Goals, tricks, and assists flowed with ease as Ronaldinho and Frank Rjikaard rebuilt the club’s tattered reputation and matched their bitter rivals Real Madrid once again
In 2005, the South American magician was rightfully handed the prestigious Ballon d’Or award, beating the likes of Frank Lampard, Zinedine Zidane, Thierry and Henry and teammate Samuel Eto’o to the award.
He was, of course, honoured to receive it, but his words from that day are still some of the finest ever delivered.
Speaking about whether he was the greatest player in the world, Ronaldinho simply had one thing to say.
“This award says I’m the best player in the world, but I’m not even the best player at Barcelona,” he said, per Telegraph.
“Leo Messi reminds me more of Maradona, both left-footed and short, Messi is the best player in the world, along with Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“For us it is not a surprise. Since he began to come and train with us and we knew we would go down this path. Someday I will explain that I was at the birth of one of the footballing greats: Leo Messi.”
That’s right, he predicted that the little Argentine genius would become the best we’ve ever seen and 12 years on, he is dead right.
Messi is far and away the greatest to ever represent Barcelona, if not the all time best player to grace the soccer game, with he and Cristiano Ronaldo rewriting the history books when it comes to scoring goals.
Ronaldinho was always humble and in hindsight, he was knowledgable.