Barcelona, AC Milan, and Brazilian legend Ronaldinho has announced his retirement in 2018 after nearly two years as a free-agent.
A former Ballon d’Or winner, before both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, made the trophy their plaything, the Brazilian has been a free-agent since leaving Fluminense in September of 2015, leaving the club just three months into an 18-month contract. However, it now looks like Ronaldinho has finally called the curtains on his illustrious playing career and he plans to retire next year.
While the 37-year-old has played in various matches since 2015 and was even at one point looking to sign for Chapocanese after the horrific plane crash that affected their team. However, a deal never materialized and while Ronaldinho was looking for a chance to play in the Copa Libertadores nothing ever stuck. Now it looks like the end is near for the fleet-footed Brazilian, who lit up the world and European football with both his feet and his toothy smile.
In an interview with Four Four Two, Ronaldino said “There is this chance, I think I’m saying goodbye to football next year, officially. I might play some farewell games for the teams I’ve played for, it’s something we’ll have to think about sometime soon.
Once I’m retiring from football, then I’m moving forward on my musical projects, my football schools. It’s something new for me, I’ll have to adapt.”
Ronaldinho makes Gattuso, Pirlo and Maldini look like Sunday League footballers. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/414DdjnwmU
— Old Days Football (@OldDaysFootball) December 1, 2017
While he did make his mark on the world in a PSG shirt at the City of Lights, it was at Barcelona that Ronaldinho established himself as a legend of the modern game. And to think that David Beckham was their first choice before the Englishman decided to opt for Real Madrid, and Barcelona turned their eyes towards Ronaldinho. Meanwhile, United who saw both their star and his replacement in Ronaldinho stolen away brought in a relatively unknown Portugal winger named Cristiano Ronaldo.
A myriad of individual honors and club honors have been bestowed upon him, with two La Liga titles, a Champions League trophy, a Scudetto with AC Milan, a Copa Libertadores with Clube Atletico Mineiro and even two back to back FIFA World Player of the Year. However, nothing does as much justice to him as his well won 2005 Ballon d’Or and the 2002 World Cup, where he was instrumental in beating England in the quarter-finals.
There are few players that once they retire the entire world will truly miss them, and Ronaldinho is certainly among the few. While he’s had his fair share of controversies and critics, at the end even the best players in the game right now, regard the Brazilian magician as one of the greatest to ever stroll a football pitch.