Ronaldinho is one of the figure-heads of soccer tricks. He moves the ball as if it were an extension of his own body, making it look incredibly easy. This among other skills makes him one of the greats among soccer players. This biography will give you a picture of where he came from and how he became the player he is.
Ronaldo de Assis Moreira was born on March 21, 1980 in Porto Alegre, Brazil to a poor, soccer-loving family.
His Father, João, was himself a soccer player, but worked in the shipyard to bring in some extra income as his soccer playing did not bring in a large salary.
His older brother, Roberto, also showed young talent on the soccer field, and he now works as Ronaldinho's manager.
As a boy he took a quick interest in beach soccer. This was probably where he first took the name Ronaldinho, which is Portuguese for "Little Ronaldo."
He made his first real breakthrough at the age of 13. scoring 23 goals in a 23-0 win against a local team!
He was soon signed on by FC Grêmio and starred on their youth team.
He quickly began to be spotted by the public eye and admired for his skill.
In 2001, Ronaldinho was transferred to the Paris Saint-Germain Soccer Club, signing a €5.1 million, five-year contract. He took the number 21 jersey.
Saint-Germain was where he really established himself as the player with the greatest control and dribbling, despite being criticized for his habit of enjoying the Paris night life.
He started the season alternating between the bench and starting position. However, a short ways into the season he began to shine, starting with a goal in a 2-2 draw against Lyon on October 13, 2001 in the 79th minute after being on for only 10 minutes.
He continued to perform extremely well and soon earned a place among the starters, and helped the team to make it to the semi-finals, though they were then eliminated by Bordeaux.
In 2002, he joined the Brazilian squad in the World cup, making a fearsome offensive set along with Rivaldo and the famous Ronaldo (who had himself worn the name Ronaldinho in previous world cups).
The three of them led the team through a great World Cup, winning the finals in a 2-0 victory over Germany.
Ronaldinho then switched to the number 10 jersey for PSG in the 2002-2003 season.
Though, he didn't quite perform as well as the season before, he was still scoring goals and tearing defenses apart throughout the season.
However, PSG came in poorly in 11th place that year, despite Ronaldinho's talent. He was soon ready for a transfer.
Though the manager of the major Spanish club, FC Barcelona, had originally planned to take the superstar David Beckham onto the team, he changed his mind and outbid Manchester United for Ronaldinho, taking him on for €32,250,000.
Once at Barcelona, he created a name for himself as one of the greatest soccer players of all time.
In 2004 he won the FIFA World Player of the Year. He also won his first league title in the 2004-2005 season.
The following year (2005: possibly the most important year of his career), he won a number of awards including:
His second FIFA World Player of the Year
FIFPro World Player of the Year
FIFPro World XI
European Footballer of the Year
He also won his second league title in the 2005-2006 season.
In 2006, he was on the Brazilian World Cup squad again, joining another Brazilian super star, Kaká. This time the team was somewhat of a disappointment as they were knocked out of the tournament by France in the quarter-finals.
Though his performance up to 2006 was exceptional, he slumped throughout the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.
He was accused of not being fit. The accusations were not without basis as he was no longer in the kind of shape he had formerly been in. Soon he was down with injuries for a portion of the 2007-08 season.
Toward the end of the 2008 season he was transferred to the large Italian club, AC Milan, for €21 million.
Ronaldinho began to pick his pace up again, once at his new club, though he never quite achieved the level of play which he had during his better years at Barcelona.
However, his presence with the team was and still is much appreciated by his teammates, and continues to lift the spirits of fellow club members as he enters the later years of his career.
In all honesty, Ronaldinho is one of my personal favorites among soccer players and I have always admired him for his incredible skill with the ball.
Because of this, I thought it would be a good idea to add a couple videos to give you a glimpse of this player in action: