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‘Extraordinary’ Ronaldinho summed up by Barcelona hero Lionel Messi, plus Zinedine Zidane, Neymar and Eden Hazard who spent hours watching his amazing skills on YouTube


Will there ever be a more talented player than the maestro aka Ronaldinho?

It has been 18 years since Barcelona signed him – and he was better than both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, according to his former teammate at the club, Deco.

AFP

Ronaldinho is viewed as one of the greatest players of his generation

“When we didn’t know what to do, he would create chances to score,” he said.

The ‘cheeky little chappie’ was an absolute magician and no-one can question that.

But at the same he partied too much, trained too little and lacked the desire and commitment to maintain his level at the very top of the game.

Ronaldinho’s fall from grace was sad to witness, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that when he was in his prime he was a complete genius. It’s why Paul Scholes and the Manchester United squad got excited when it appeared the Brazilian was heading to the Premier League before Barca beat them to the punch.

Ronaldinho left his mark on some of biggest names in the game, and who better to start with than his biggest fan Deco?


Deco

Deco played alongside Ronaldinho at Barcelona from 2004 to 2008 and helped the club win the Champions League and two La Liga titles.

“From the outset, it is clear that Leo and Cristiano are the greatest,” he told AS.

“Especially because no one thought they could take so many years to this level, but the one that impressed me most despite not being so decisive was Ronnie.

“For me, he will always be the best.”

Deco and Ronaldinho were two footballing geniuses

Getty Images

Deco and Ronaldinho were two footballing geniuses

Lionel Messi

When you’re getting plaudits from arguably the greatest player who has ever lived, then you know you must have done something right.

“Ronaldinho was responsible for the change in Barca. It was a bad time and the change that came about with his arrival was amazing,” the Argentinian maestro said.

“In the first year, he didn’t win anything but people fell in love with him.

“Then the trophies started coming and he made all those people happy. Barca should always be grateful for everything he did.”