Top facts you need to know about The Legend, Ronaldinho
Ronaldinho is one of the big names to be counted for everyone who has the smallest knowledge about football. The legendary football player was born on March 21, 1980, in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
The Brazilian football phenomenon is best known for his insane freestyle tricks. He soon gained authority in the Brazilian National Football Team that won FIFA World Cup in 2002.
Moreover, he also helped FC Barcelona win the champions league title. Ronaldinho last played for Fluminense FC and ended his playing career due to his low performance.
It was speculated that the Brazilian was born to be a playmaker in football history, and he proved by winning back to back FIFA Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005. He is viewed as a standout among the best play creators ever.
Ronaldinho was the youngest of a poor family with 3 children. He lost his father in a pool accident when he was only 8 years old. Later, he became famous for his Brazilian flair and trickery.
Like all poor children born in Brazil, their liberation was in football. The age of the ball was more evident than how it touched the ball. He entered the infrastructure of the Gremio club for his young talents.
It didn’t take much for him to become one of the most talked-about players in Brazil in 1998.
Ronaldinho has become one of the indispensable players of the Brazilian national team. He did things on the field that made people stay glued to their T.V sets; He was intoxicating. There is a saying: "Ronaldo makes you love Real Madrid, Messi makes you love Barcelona, but Ronaldinho makes you love football"
After the World Cup performance in 2002, many clubs almost competed to join Ronaldinho. The winner was Barcelona, who was considered one of the biggest clubs in the world. Transferring Ronaldinho by paying a fee of 2.25 Million Euros.
Returning to Brazil in 2011, Ronaldinho played for Flamengo and Atlético Mineiro before he enjoyed a short spell at Querétaro in Mexico. Again returning to play for Fluminense, Ronaldinho became a free agent after a series of poor performances and had since been the center of constant speculation about where his next club might be until he announced his plans to officially retire in 2018 after over two years without a club.
The followings are the top facts you need to know about the Brazilian legend:
Ronaldinho’s name and nicknames
Ronaldo de Assis Moreira started playing soccer at 7, and as a young soccer player, he originally got his nickname “Ronaldinho,” the small type of his original name, Ronaldo.
Ronaldinho was given the nickname because he was often the youngest and smallest player in his youth club matches.
The story behind his name was that Ronaldinho was one of Ronaldo’s biggest fans, and his name meant “Little Ronaldo.”
He was also given the nickname Gaûcho because his face was always gleeful, meaning “happy.”
Dinho, Ronnie El Brujo de Porto Alegre, and Ronaldinho Gaúcho are some other nicknames of the Brazilian.
Young Ronaldinho scored every goal in a 23-0 win
Ronaldinho's talent wasn’t exactly hard to spot. At the age of 13, he played a match where he scored 23 goals in his team’s 23-0 win. This event caught the attention of the media.
The Brazilian was later selected for the Gremio youth squad before he starred for Brazil in the Under-17 World Cup. While he never achieved the same feats in his professional career, he can certainly be proud of his efforts as he went on to score multiple hat-tricks for both club and country.
Ronaldinho will be remembered for the countless moments of joy he brought to football fans all over the world. He is mainly known as a free-kick specialist and recognized for his exceptional dribbling ability.
He told reporters, “Football is about joy. It’s about dribbling. I favor every idea that makes the game beautiful. Every good idea has to last.”
The former Gremio, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, AC Milan, and Brazil star claimed two Liga titles, a Scudetto, a Champions League, a World Cup and the 2005 Ballon d'Or award.
He is the only footballer in history to win all 9 major trophies. Ronaldinho’s career took its turn when he got a fabulous start with a call-up to Brazil’s FIFA Under-17 national team. He helped the team win the World Cup title in 1997. The big event took place in Egypt, where he was chosen as the competition’s best player.
Ronaldinho won the 2002 World Cup as well as the Champions League with FC Barcelona in 2006. Finally, he was awarded the Ballon d’Or award in 2005.
The first to reach one million views on YouTube
Playing with the crossbar, Ronaldinho made a huge hit for Nike advertisement. The 2005 Nike advert which saw Ronaldinho try on a new pair of boots before smashing the crossbar four times without letting the ball touch the ground.
The advertisement was described by Nike as the video which “broke the internet”, and it was later confirmed as the first video to reach 1 million views on Youtube. While there was much speculation regarding the authenticity of the video, it was apparent that Ronaldinho’s juggling skills were second to none.
10 years later, Nike celebrated the anniversary of the video by releasing a remastered version of the video along with a limited edition line of “Golden Touch” boots.
Talent without hard work
In Barcelona, Ronaldinho climbed the highest pedestal in the footballing pantheon, and with nowhere left to go but down, that's exactly where the legendary player went. It seems that the higher you climb, the harder you fall.
Talent will get you to the top, but only hard work will keep you there. If climbing to the top of the ladder is a difficult task, then staying there requires a Herculean effort. In the hyper-competitive world of football, where superstars are made and destroyed each season, physical fitness is equally important as talent.
Ronaldinho's image is tainted only by the lack of a work ethic. The ever-smiling Brazilian still retains the world's respect and adoration, but the question of ‘what could have been?’ will always surround his legend.
The prevailing rumor and the major fact about the former Barcelona player was that he tended to tie the knot with his pair of “fiancees” Priscilla Coelho and Beatriz Souza, but he denied it.
Footballers are not drones; they have hopes, fears, desires, and flaws like other people. Ronaldinho was extraordinarily gifted but loved a beer and a dance too and regardless of what he achieved, he put smiles on millions of faces and did it all with his trademark grin.
Ronaldinho’s car collection
It is not unusual for rich athletes to drive fancy cars, but Ronaldinho’s collection of luxurious rides takes it to the next level. Among the cars in his collection are an Audi Q7, a Hummer 2 and a $1.3 million Bugatti Veyron, the latter being one of the fastest cars on the planet with a top speed of 253 miles per hour, a W16 engine and 1001 horsepower.
With a net worth of $90 million, people wonder if Ronaldinho will continue to add to his collection as part of his birthday celebrations.
Ronaldinho’s net worth
One of the top facts about Ronaldinho is that his net worth stands at an estimated total of $90 million dollars. Ronaldinho won the ‘Ballon d’Or’ grant in 2006 and earned over $19 million from endorsements deals alone. He had been working with retail giants like ‘Nike,’ ‘Pepsi,’ ‘Coca-Cola,’ ‘Gatorade,’ and ‘Danone’ since then.
In 2008, Forbes recorded Ronaldinho’s net worth as 38th in its Celebrity 100 and evaluated his yearly pay up to $37 million. At that point, the Barcelona midfielder was filling in advertising deals from Pepsi and Nike.
Ronaldinho’s salary in Barcelona expanded impressively in the wake of transferring from PSG. In Brazil, some players play in the Rio Grande do Sul. Of course, this output attracted the attention of many European clubs. In 2001, he was transferred to PSG. For this transfer, the PSG team paid a transfer fee of EUR 5, 10 million.
His exchange for Barcelona was recorded at £25 million pounds for the 2003-04 season.
Ronaldinho applauded by Real Madrid fans
The most important fact about Ronaldinho is that Real Madrid fans gave him a standing ovation at the Bernabeu as they crashed Los Blancos 3-0. Only Maradona had received this treatment before.
In what was an extremely hostile atmosphere, Ronaldinho became the first Barcelona player since Diego Maradona to be applauded at the Bernabeu after he tore Real Madrid apart during the Clasico in 2005.
Ronaldinho was in dazzling form on the day and absolutely destroyed the Galacticos defense. As a sign of respect to Ronaldinho, Real Madrid fans stood up and applauded the Brazilian after he ran through the Madrid defense to score his second goal and put Barcelona 3-0 up.
In what was a truly unique event, the show of respect by Madrid fans truly demonstrated the talent Ronaldinho possessed at his peak.
A tumultuous playing career
There is no doubt that Ronaldinho was the best football player in the world. His skill on the ball was unrivaled and the effortless grace with which he confounded his opponents was mesmerizing. Ronaldinho's dribbling was nothing short of a work of art but the man who won over the hearts of the entire football world, including the bitterest rivals of his then club Barcelona, has faded from superstardom into the nostalgic memories of those who've had the pleasure of witnessing the genius at work.
Ronaldinho could do things with a ball that other footballers would struggle to do without one. However, his career began to regress and the dark side of his life started in 2008. He was destined to become one of the greatest footballers of all time, a two times FIFA World Player of the year, and a central figure to Barça's success; but by 2008, it was all over for him.
Later, Barcelona manager, Pep Guardiola (Rijkaard’s successor), immediately informed Ronaldinho that he wasn’t in his plans, and he was sold along with Deco. Later on, it emerged that the prime reason Guardiola had for discarding two key dressing room figures was to steer Messi in the right direction.
Failed Manchester United transfer
There have been plenty of rumors about Ronaldinho joining the English Premier League over the years, with one particular rumor claiming the player was on the verge of joining Manchester United in 2003 before he was persuaded by the then Barcelona president to head to the Camp Nou.
In 2003, he joined FC Barcelona after the Catalan club outbid Manchester United for his signature. €30 million was the transfer fee that brought Ronaldinho to Spain.
During his five years at the Nou Camp, Ronaldinho told reporters that, “Sandro Rosell had told me way before I got the offer: ‘If I become Barca president, will you come?’ I said yes.
"It was only a matter of details with United when Rosell called to say he was going to win the elections there. And I had promised to him that I’d play for Barca… It was a quick negotiation.”
Ronaldinho left Barcelona in 2008, to join another most eminent clubs, A.C. Milan, however, his performance was generally uninspiring.
A six-figure loss for drinking Pepsi
Ronaldinho lost $750,000 sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola after he was pictured with rival beverage Pepsi at a press conference.
While the deal was intended to run through the 2014 World Cup, it was canceled less than a year after it was signed due to a breach of contract.
While it is most likely the star forward was only pictured with the drink as Pepsi were the sponsor of his then club Atletico Mineiro, Coca-Cola wasn't happy and ended the contract shortly after.
Since February 2006, Ronaldinho has had an official role with UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, and regularly appeared in Soccer Aid, an event that raises money for the so-called charity.
In 2011, the Brazilian paired up with the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS looking to promote awareness of the disease among young people.
Ronaldinho, alongside Portugal icon Luis Figo, is also set to lead out two star-studded teams in a 'Match for Solidarity' on the banks of Lake Geneva in a match arranged "in the name of peace, human rights, and well-being".
Ronaldinho announced an entrepreneurial partnership with Italian businessman Fabio Cordella in 2017, launching a 'wine of champions' range with 11 different labels of the drink, creating a starting line-up of notable footballers.
Moreover, like some other well-known footballers around the world, Ronaldinho started to endorse his own branded product, trying his hand at the business enterprise by releasing his club-themed condoms.
The Sex Free box featured the badge of his former club Atletico Mineiro, as well as a picture of himself and his signature, carrying the slogan, “Eu sou Galo”, which means "I am Galo" with Galo being a nickname for the Brazilian club.
Joao Mendes signed with Brazilian club Cruzeiro but the 14-year-old forward did not reveal who his famous father was until he had had a successful trial and signed a training contract with the Brazilian club. Mendes is contracted to the club until the day before his 20th birthday in 2025.