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Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 02/28/2010

I'll cut the introduction and go straight to the point. There is not one player who is as influential to his team as Ronaldinho is to Milan. Now, I do not want to get into the whole "who is the best player" alive debate because it has already been settled by Giuseppe Favalli.

Ronaldinho is one of those legends that your grandchildren will be asking about, and you can smile at them and say you had the privilege of watching them grace the pitch every week for several years.


Ronaldinho group hug ©Getty Images

He has lost a few steps and gained a few pounds since his magical Barcelona days that saw him winning the coveted Ballon d'Or award. He might have gotten in trouble a few times for his late night frolicking at various Brazilian Salsa clubs, but this past year maturity finally took over and he dedicated himself to proving the world wrong.

Sometimes it baffles me how Ronnie became the forgotten man at Barcelona. It's amazing how a lack of confidence can shatter a player's perfomance on the pitch. When he didn't feel the love from the blaugrana fans, gluttony and laziness engulfed him and he went on a two year eating and partying sabbatical.

Milan, who needed to roll the dice after a slew of failed transfers, decided to gamble on the Brazilian playmaker, who was deemed as surplus at Barcelona. His first season at Milan was a rollercoaster ride. He played the first game in the Serie A against Bologna. Ronnie was phenomenal. But for a variety of reasons after that, he was inconsistent and had a difficult time breaking into the starting rotation under Ancelotti.

The main obstacle that hindered his progress was Ricardo Kaka. It has been well documented that Kaka and Ronaldinho had a difficult time recreating their magical club form at International level. For reasons unknown, they failed to develop any semblance of chemistry together. As rumours started floating around about a possible Kaka departure, I bought into it as long as we reclaimed our young French starlet Yoann Gourcuff from Bordeaux (who would have excelled in Leonardo's 4-3-3 alongside Pirlo and Ambrosini.)

Fast forward to last summer. Florentino Perez offers an unimaginable sum of money for a player who was clearly deteriorating and becoming injury prone. Kaka's game is mainly built on breakneck speed, and once that evades him, how effective can he truly be? Milan on the other hand, becomes the anti-Perez and focuses on frugal purchases of young players who might not have the name, or hair gel supply of a Cristiano Ronaldo type. (Unfortunately Abate has just made this previous statement false, as he has become so influenced by Hollywood Beckham, that he not only shares the right wing with him, but the same exact hairstyle as well.)

Leonardo was appointed as the new head coach of Milan, and right away declared to the media his full support of Ronaldinho. This was clearly the turning point of Ronnie's career. He finally was handed the car keys to the team, and was promised a chance to prove his worth. Taking up Kaka's position, he has been more influential than anyone could have ever imagined. Watching him this year has been a thrill ride to say the least. His pinpoint passes, extraordinary vision, and world class technique leave me, and his opponents, in awe. Right fullbacks unlucky enough to face him have made remarks this year about him being the hardest player they've ever had to defend.

Seeing Ronnie's trademark smile every time he plays is refreshing, and just goes to show his current mentality. But even more importantly, it seems like El Gaucho has a role in every single goal that is scored for Milan. He even allows former Real Madrid masseuse Klaas Huntelaar to find the back of the net. And to think that he hasn't been called up to the Brazilian national team is scandalous to say the least. If anyone is wondering where this Milan revival has come from that has seen us go within four points of Inter. One word:


RONALDINHO ©Getty Images

Update 3.2.2010: 'Coach' Dunga (and I use the word coach loosely) has just said NO to Ronaldinho & Pato for the world cup. And has said YES to the following: Kleberson, Julio Baptista, Nilmar, Grafite. What is the equivalent of an epic screw up like this one?

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Comments

Posted by Bobby on 02/28/2010

Excellent going forward, but when he loses the ball he just STANDS THERE without a care in the world like it is someone elses job to win the ball.

Does he not realize that he is endangering his teams defence by just being a passenger and choosing not to track back after losing the ball?

Perhaps that is the reason why Dunga still hasn't called him back up for the Selecion. He wants players with a good work ethic and industry, players that actually give a monkeys if they lose possession of the ball and feel obligated to do their utmost to win it back.

Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 03/01/2010

Bobby:

Harsh assessment that nitpicks on his only 'weakness'. I use the word weakness loosely, since players that take on his position are not usually known for their defensive prowess. While it would be nice if he turned superhuman and could sprint back and forth, assisting teammates, scoring goals, blocking penalty kicks and defending like Maldini - it's just not possible. So for now, let's be grateful for what he DOES do for Milan.

Posted by Bobby on 03/01/2010

Yes it is his only real weakness, maybe he could lose 5 more kilos too and re-gain a few more yards of pace as well. But that weakness can be exploited by the opposition full backs as they know they can bombard down the right flank because Ronaldinho isn't going to help out his left back after he loses the ball.

You will see Mancehster United take full advantage of this in the return leg at Old Trafford.

I see Cristiano Ronaldo tracking back when he loses the ball, I see Rooney doing the same, I even see the little Messi doing so also.

He doesn't even have to win the ball, back, just at least put pressure on the guy you have just lost the ball to so that he makes a mistake as he is rushed into making the pass.

In top level football, you can't have someone that is not pulling all their weight and giving it their all.

What was it Mourinho said about Balotelli and winning the ball back after losing it a couple of weeks ago?

'Dinho's still World Class tho' and I love to watch him

Posted by rob on 03/01/2010

Huntelaar played just as important a role in that goal as Ronnie, beatiful one-two between them and a great finish for another crucial goal. After an poor first season Ronaldinho has been superb for Milan this year (started this year poorly too but has just got better).players need their coach to show full confidence in them.

Posted by Guzman on 03/01/2010

Ronaldinho is the best soccer player theres been and that ever will be.

Posted by hadiyanto on 03/01/2010

Dinho is such an established talented player. He hahas both strengths and weaknesses. Coach can not not change him, he is not young anymore. Leonardo should exploit his strength 110 %, and ask other teammates to overcome Dinho's weaknesses. Only Dinho can hold and keep the ball on his foot magically, this conduct always terrorizes enemy's defenders. So let us cheer him and guard him.

Posted by Tashh on 03/01/2010

Great column as always and very funny!

Posted by kaka on 03/01/2010

I just wish that he would lose more weight and then get his pace back. If he wanted to, we all know he is capable of it.

To say the LEAST, it has been pure joy watching him play this season. He is the main bright spot of Milan after my Kaka left :(

Posted by Oy, Earth on 03/01/2010

Ronaldinho doesnt need to defend. He is most dangerous after when the midfield wins the ball and finds ronaldinho infront of few defenders. nPlus when you have ambrosini gattuso and pirlo defending the midfield you can afford having Ronaldinho up front waiting to attack.

Posted by T the Legend on 03/01/2010

ronnie is the best, so what if he loses the ball. Have you seen what he can do with the ball in his feets. Its all him now at Milan and I hope Leonardo learns how to use Pato Huntelaar and Dinho together. It would save the team a lot of money instead of paying 40 million on a useless striker.

Forza Dinho, take hime to the world cup.!

Posted by Francis Corsa Obita on 03/01/2010

Dinho is doing some great things for Milan and that is really appreciated by a life long Milanista like myself. Ronnie has never been a speedy player but when he has the ball he does the best thing with it and entertains both opposing and supporting teams alike. It is now that I understand Berlusconi obsession with him. Too bad that destiny had tied Kaka and Carletto and Kaka not being able to play with Dinho meant Ancelotti could do little about it. This year things are ging great for Dinho and the team, and like Abiatti said, probably there is a clea indication that Milan will win the championship in June and Dinho will be the main reason, and thank God he has been off injury (he tackles less and this is another way of keeping great off injuries.
I think Dinho-Pato-Huntelaar is better than Dinho-Pato-Borriello. Borriello is a team player but Huntelaar is both a team player and day-saver. Forza Milan!!!!

Posted by Basil Wilson on 03/01/2010

Ronaldinho is one of the more creative flaymakers in the world of soccer. He is a rhythm player and must play regularly to sustain peak form.With Ronaldinho on the pitch,irrespective of the opponent,the ninety minutes of football is utterly exciting.The Brazilian national team needs playmakers and Dunga would be stupid not to recall Ronaldinho to the national team. He failed to produce in the 2006 World Cup but it was Ronaldinho's exceptional creativity that was decisive in Brazil winning the 2002 World Cup.

Posted by Rob on 03/01/2010

Love your blogs, fantastic!! Dinho has been a godsend this season and to all of the doubters, neysayers and critics...how many assists does Ronnie have so far? Try top assist man in Serie A! One other part of his game that he needs to work on as of late though are his penalty kicks...not so fantastic.

Posted by milen on 03/01/2010

messi,ronaldo,kaka.....some rooney,..ur father is back.....

Posted by hoho on 03/01/2010

When it comes to big tournaments (CL or World Cup) the games turn ultra defensive, almost...Italian. That is why I think Ronnie would excel. He doesn't need to take players on the break anymore. He can let the defense settle and make that one pass to allow the attacker a 100% chance on goal. I think if he is selected for Brazil, he is going to have a truly break out worldcup and hopefully bring that form back to Milan. Unfortunately, Dunga disagrees.

Posted by OKWARA NELSON on 03/01/2010

RONALDINHO GAUCHO IS AND WILL EVER REMAIN THE WORLDS' GREATEST FOOTBALL MAGICIAN. AM A STAUNCH FAN OF FCBARCELONA DUE TO RONNIE'S MAGIC "BRAVO"

Posted by Olubanks on 03/01/2010

All hail milan's messiah.cos without him milan re nothing all hail RONALDINH0 !!!!!!!!!

Posted by Peter on 03/01/2010

Ronaldinho is the best entertainment player in this planet. He is the best in assist besides making gools.

Posted by sergio sertao on 03/01/2010

ronaldinho failed in olimpics 2008, world cup 2006, in 2002 he did nothing too (yes there is the match brzil vs england when he assisted rivaldo e was SENT OFF letting brazilian side wiht ten men). thats him: circus clown. In the pitch he is nothing. (missed more penaltys then any other player in history)

Posted by tagor on 03/02/2010

Every morning, leave your worries outside your gate, coz that's where they pick up the garbage! Have a worry free day...I LIKE YOU and may God bless you ....A.C all the way but you people have to talk to the coach

Posted by Samuel Iddi on 03/02/2010

Ronaldinho continues to be d best player iv ever seen in my life.hesd reason why i became a barca fun and hes taken me to milan.he doesnt need to defend dats not his style,he just have to feed d strikers and hes doing just dat.Gaucho is d best.keep it up El Gaucho.

Posted by Lincoln on 03/02/2010

Ronaldinho is world class! I think that his recent form has been nothing but breath-taking! He is one of the most skilled ball distributers i have seen. If he can get his shooting skills back i think a world cup call-up will be inevitable! Dunga knows his football but still Dinho has been magic lately. Rooney even said he hopes Dinho doesnt go because of his skill and power on the bell. Watch him play Man U on the 10th and see his skill. Even if his team doesnt win he will still put on a show! Forza Milan!

Posted by Lorenzo on 03/02/2010

great article, the most impressive thing about his season however is how he has seemlessly made the position switch necessary to fit into Leonardo's 4-3-3. Dinho has always been a trequartista and considering he has lost some of his pace (not that he was ever particularly fast)i thought he would be a huge flop out there on the wing. proved me wrong though didn't he. as far as the reason him a and kaka could not play together, its simple they both need the ball on their feet to be effective. much lke pirlo, btw why the hell didn't we let ancelotti take pirlo with him to london? we will never get as good a deal as the one chelsea offered for pirlo. and that money could have gone into a midfielder who is younger and maybe add some pace and enthusiasm to the vecchia guardia.

Posted by pagliuca on 03/02/2010

I totally agree on the article. Riki has speed but when that's finished he's not going to be effective anymore. Ronie on other hand has those close technical skills with his feet that no one currently can do. The tie with United is coming up and Pato may not be playing. Still Ferguson is afraid of Ronie simiply because if you saw during the Bari game a text book example if Roni get's a chance to enter the box either he will score, pass (to score), or someone will foul him and a penatly will come. Notice nobody touched him in the box. That's what's worrying Ferguson! If Roni get's that chance [twice] Old Trafford just may be silent at the end of regulation. And if the defense is healthy with either Bonera/Antonini back at the flanks. A consistant Abiatti between the posts. Milan may well be Milan again in the CL. Remember Milan is very dangerous when they have their backs to the wall, and if Roni answers. Things will get sweaty for our honerable oppoents. Forza Milan Per Sempre!

Posted by lattran on 03/02/2010

"I do not want to get into the whole "who is the best player" alive debate because it has already been settled by Giuseppe Favalli. "

"He even allows former Real Madrid masseuse Klaas Huntelaar to find the back of the net."

Hahahaha. Funny article. I like the constant jokes about Favalli's age and his job as a plumber for Milan due to his age. Same as Huntelaar who was useless and became a massage therapist at Real Madrid. Very funny.

Posted by Bobby on 03/03/2010

this is what Brazil coach Dunga had to say after Brazil beat Ireland when a journalist asked him about recalling Ronaldinho:

"Pele was once the best player in the world. I played once as well. Players come and players go. We have the team decided but we need certain things defined."

So it souds like dunga has no intentions of picking him for the world cup.

Sorry Dinho, maybe you should start tracking back if YOU LOSE THE BALL! instead of just standing there eh?

Posted by Josef on 03/03/2010

How about David Beckham? Someone who cant defend playing defensive midfield.

Posted by RKK on 03/03/2010

he cannot run as fast n shokingly misses (inter,atlanta,paleremo... nowonder not playin 4 brazil) penalties somtimes u wonder is he the same person

Posted by Jeff on 03/03/2010

I'd say that "gluttony and laziness" came first and then the criticism from Camp Barça, not the other way around. His lack of fitness in seasons following the 2006 Champions League title, his partying, and his pimpified (always seemed to wear lavish fur coats in the winter) brother/agent's not-so-subtle suggestions that Ronnie might want to pursue bigger offers from Italy all raised questions about his attitude towards the team. People absolutely loved Dinho and even Messi repeatedly went out of his way to publicly support his mentor, but the Brazilian was the main force behind his gradual downfall in La Liga.

Very glad to see him making a rebound. Despite his faults as a player, he is a joy to watch and has contributed so much to the international game these past 8 years or so.

Posted by ERASMUS on 03/03/2010

HE HAS BECOME RUSTY.IF MILAN WANTS TO PERFORM WELL IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, THEN THE TEAM MUAT LOOK FOR A YOUNGER AND ENERGETIC STRICKER.

Posted by Noel on 03/03/2010

U hit the nail on the head ! I am not even going to question his defending , Gaucho has been truly impressive! Makes the Kaka transfer seem 5 years ago. Wins an enormous amount of freekicks.Well done Dinho !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by OA Oyowe on 03/03/2010

Great article and comments! If Dunga has decided to leave Ronnie out of his squad well then that's fine. He is the one to lose a player Ronnie's quality. He can't possibly claim that his reason is based on the player's form. I honestly don't understand what some of the players like Baptista is doing in the squad that will profit the Brazilian team more than Ronnie's contributions.

Posted by kenneth on 03/03/2010

for all we know, Leonardo TELLS Ronaldhino not to track back to release him to do what he does best

Posted by james kalala on 03/03/2010

I think i have watched Dinho is the world's best
from skill to building team spirit. A remarkable sportsman & if Brazil want to have a shot at the World cup they better include this samba boy because if they don't they will never realise their full potential.
Big up to all his fans because they will only be one........ Ronaldinho!!!!!

Posted by MEB on 03/03/2010

Those who say Ronnie should track back have never watched him throughout his career. He has never tracked back. Even when he was named FIFA Player of the Year twice, he tracked back as much as he does now. When other well-known forwards lose the ball, they dont track back consistently either. This includes Ronaldo, Rooney and a host of others. I remeber reading how Sir Alex wanted Rooney to not track back so much because he needed him to stay forward and be available for the counter attack. If every forward or striker tracked back after losing the ball, you would have no one forward for the counter, so the not tracking back argument is a weak one. Also for Dunga to compare himself to Ronnie is laughable. So Dunga played and what kind of impact did he have on his team? teh same as Ronnie? I don't think so.

Posted by prince dodoo on 03/03/2010

TO ME APART FROM MARA DONA, PELE THE NEST GREATEST THING THAT HAVE HAPPEN TO FOOTBALL IS RONALDINHO.

HE BROUGHT A WHOLE REVOLUTION TO FOOTBALL HES DAZZLING,THE GREATEST PASSER OF THE BALL OF ALL TIME, DEAD BALL SPECIALIST, HE MAKES FOOTBALL LOOKS SIMPLE, THE ONLY PROBLEM I HAVE WITH HIM WHEN EVER HE LOSE THE BALL HE DOESN'T GO BACK TO TACKLE, BUT THAT IS SYNONYMOUS TO ALL GREAT PLAYERS WHO ONCE GRACES THE PITCH, BUT I WILL SAY DUNGA WILL THE GREATEST MISTAKE OF ALL TIME WHEN FAILS TO TAKE DINHO TO THE WORLD CUP, BECAUSE I THINK THIS IS HIS TIME TO PROVE TO THE WORLD THAT HE IS STILL THE RONALDINHO WE NEW BACK SINCE IN 1997 JUNIOR CUP WHICH HE WON FOR BRAZIL WHEN HE SCORE THE WINING GALL AGAINST GHANA AT A POINT IN TIME GHANA WAS LEADING ONE GALL NOT NIL WHEN DINHO CHANGE THE WHOLE COMPLETION OF THE GAME WITH SOME DAZZLING SKILLS, ACCURATE PASSES, YOU CAN ALSO REMEMBER 2002 WORLD CUP AGAINT ENGLAND.THE ONLY PLAYER TO BE GIVEN A STANDING OVATION AT THE SANTIAGO BENUBIOU

Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 03/03/2010

Some good comments on here, but the tracking back argument against him is ridiculous. If he were to gallop back and defend, he would be out of wind after the first 30 minutes. There's a good chance the coach has ordered him specifically NOT to waste too much energy defending, as there are two workhorses in the midfield: Ambrosini and Gattuso who do that all game. And I've watched plenty of Cristiano Ronaldo. After he loses the ball, he combs his hair. Ronaldinho on the other hand smiles. Let him be. Also, how effective would Ronaldinho even be at defending? Wouldn't he just be a yellow/red card threat for mistimed tackles?

Leaving Ronnie off the Brazilian National team is not only a disgrace, but also means one of the most entertaining/skilled players on the planet will not be on the worlds stage for everyone to enjoy.

Posted by Sandro on 03/03/2010

I believe that Ronaldinho truly has found some sort of form back. The problem I believe that hovers Brisilian coach Dunga is how he would link up with guys like Robinho, Kaka, etc... Teams with too many starts on the field usually will not become too successful because they try to control the game. Everything that happens offensively goes through these type of players and we saw the problem at Milan with both Ronaldihno and Kaka on the field. You cannot choose everybody to play for the team because of the way they play in their club teams because you might not get the same results.
A good example is Manchester United. When you look at their team, it is filled with guys who are not considered great players such as Fletcher, Carrick, Valencia, etc... United is successful because there is no struggle for power. These guys only work for one man and that is Wayne Rooney. The question that arises with Kaka, Robinho, and Ronaldinho, is which player will have control of the field.

Posted by Kwadwo Owusu on 03/03/2010

I have not seen any player in the world like Ronaldinho this past decade.Indeed he deserves to be the player of the decade despite how good Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and Zidane are.And I do not think any of the three are as good as Ronaldinho is when it comes to vision and skills and making football look ridiculously simple.I believe that no matter the amount of soccer Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi play,they will not reach the class of Ronaldinho.Class is permanent but form is temporal and that was the case with Ronaldinho.And like everyone else says,the only problem I have with him is going back to defend when he looses the ball .Zidane was a good player but he never had that speed and skill and that outrageous passing vision that Ronaldinho had.Messi is a good player but lacks that free kick scoring ability,skills and passing vision that Ronaldinho has and Ronaldo too is a good player almost as good as Ronaldinho but also lacks that skill and outrageous passing vision as his.

Posted by stephen on 03/03/2010

i think every one desolve a sceond chance in life and i think he did his best he could on his own with out help from his team mates.to me he is a star on any team who have this player is sure to win brazil coach is selfish just like how there kill other players dreams is just so there want to do ronaldinho dreams as well in his own country coach u have one of the best player in the world you should be thankful of that on to hear that and be happy he is in your team that is all i have to say thank u.

Posted by Duc Nguyen on 03/03/2010

Well I think Dunga left him out because he knows that Ronaldinho and Kaka cannot play together, and he has chosen Kaka as the playmaker.

Robinho is another one Dunga likes that occupies the left hand side of the attacking third. He also doesn't like the public telling him what to do so maybe he's trying to make a point by NOT calling Ronaldinho and Pato? It kind of reminds me of Passarella not calling Redondo and Batistuta in for WC 94 because of their long hair.

In the end I think Dunga has his reasons, and maybe he's right after all. Aime Jacquet was also heavily criticized before WC 98. If Dunga does manage to win it then many people will be forced to eat their words.

It's a shame a player like Ronaldinho won't be at the WC, but football is like that. Let's hope he keeps churning out the good stuff for Milan.

Posted by Far on 03/03/2010

Good article. But nobody is as valuable to their team as Rooney is right now.

Posted by Scott on 03/03/2010

Ronnie isn't Rooney. He's not going to run non-stop for you. Two different strikers. Ronnie is doing what made him the player he is. Rooney is doing what makes him Rooney. I don't even compare the two.

The other note that no one else has commented on is Gourcuff. Why in the world did we sell him when we knew Kaka was leaving!? I think it's one of the faults of Ancelotti, he doesn't know how to incorporate younger players into his squad (albeit Pato played, but thats just common sense). I'm no coaching genius, but I saw flashes of brilliance from Gourcuff even while Ancelotti would play him for 15 minutes out of position. He's not a defensive midfielder. He's a creative, attack-minded player thats proving his worth with Bordeaux now. He'd be phenominal in our 4-2-3-1 formation as the attacking mid. But we goofed on that one.

Posted by Eric on 03/03/2010

THANK YOU RONALDINHO!

Posted by Italo Carrieri-Russo on 03/03/2010

It is great to see the Milan doing well again in the standings in Serie A. Ronaldinho has been the playmaker that has been making it happened for the team. The combine of talents of Pato, Beckham, Pirlo, and various other talented super-star line up. There has been surge toward getting back to the winning ways in Milan. The former Milan player and coach Leonardo, is having a very nice debut season as the skipper. Being four points behind Inter and moving down the stretch of the season is looking very promising. The rise again of Ronaldinho has been joy to watch and looking forward to seeing more magic.

Posted by TUNDE BAJELA on 03/03/2010

It will amount to a travesty of monumental dimension to leave Ronaldinho out of the World Cup.I think FIFA for the good of the game should order Brazil to include him in their squad otherwise the World Cup would be devalued (Joke)How can a coach leave out the most effective and yet entertaining player in the world? What if Kaka gets injured? Brazil without Kaka or Robinho will struggle against most teams.
As a Milanista of many years I was also surprised that Ancelotti sold Gourcuff inspite of what he did at Bordeaux last season. Milan will probably be ahead in Serie A now with Gourcuff adding complementing the incomparable Ronaldinho.
Why should anyone with a dint of tactical savvy demand that Ronaldinho should track back? It will amount to tactical naivety for a right back to engage in too much adventure with Ronaldinho behind him. Even if he doesn't track back, he keeps defenders in check from straying forward. Besides, it amounts to an abuse of a very effective weapon.

Posted by prama on 03/03/2010

Ronaldinho is the greatest since Maradona. Who cares if he doesn't track back, get Gatusso or Silva or some other workhorse to do it but not Ronnie. He's there for his attacking vision not for his tackling ability. Those of you who think Ronnie needs to track back and win balls don't know what teamwork means let alone the chemistry needed for a great football team. Ronnie is not an individualist like Messi or a peacock like C. Ronaldo. He's a true playmaker and a truly great team player. He knows what he's good at and what his team mates can do. Those who criticize Ronnie don't know what football is.

Posted by wedi batsi'e on 03/03/2010

-Comment deleted-

Posted by PEPSI on 03/03/2010

Ronaldinho is the best midfielder right now like the article says he is a little bit out of form from what he used to be but no body uses the ball like him his pass,shot even the vision.i think zizou was best but from what i am seeing now i think the article says it all

Posted by ryan on 03/03/2010

Brazil can win it all without him without a doubt. I think the Italian game suits him, I really don't think he has lost a step, he has the Ferrari he just doesn't pull it out of the garage. It wouldn't surpise me to see him put on a master class performance against Man United that sees AC Milan into the quarterfinals of the UCL. I have to agree with Prama about him being a true playmaker, Messi and Ronaldo create but that is only when they are in a position where they cannot take the shot.

Posted by Anonymous on 03/03/2010

Matteo agree with you 100%! Milan would not be nearly as good as they are now with him!

Posted by Peter Petrov Milano on 03/03/2010

I never loved Dinho when we was really great bt i cn't hide the emotion since he came to D gretatest club Milan. He's truly the best......... Forza Milano

Posted by Chris on 03/03/2010

Well, unfortunately with Gourcuff, Milan added that stupid buy-out clause at the end of his loan. Pato-Dinho-Gourcuff, what could of been

Posted by sergio sertao on 03/03/2010

His big problem is: when he is on the pitch brazil side never wins...
As dunga let him out Brazil plays the 'beautiful game' and wins the championships...
Milan is behind Inter... Milan is out of Italian Cup... Milan has alreadey loss the home match against Man United... What is Ronaldinho doing? Dunga is all right and keep breaking records in the seleção. Look at Brazil vs Ireland.... Dunga is correct.

Posted by benedito ndlovu on 03/03/2010

i agree. Ronaldinho is still better than a lot of players around. i heard Messi confess that he still thinks Ronaldinho is the best player in the world. Ronaldinho is victim of himself. he is so good that he is not allowed to readapt. Ronaldinho was younger and hungrier back than. he is an emotional character, who survives on love. no love no ronaldinho. please Dunga take him to the world cup

Posted by Andrea on 03/03/2010

Ronaldinho grande giocatore... Ma in Italia esiste solo un fenomeno.. Diego Milito!!!
FORZA INTER!

Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 03/03/2010

Andrea:

Se la Serie A ha soltanto Diego Milito come fenomeno, direi che sono messi veramente male!

Posted by Dward on 03/03/2010

Former Real Madrid masseuse Klaas Huntelaar...haha cracked me up

Posted by thomas101 on 03/03/2010

"Zidane was a good player but he never had that speed and skill and that outrageous passing vision that Ronaldinho had."
Zidane is the greatest player of our generation ur right about zidane not having the speed of ronaldinho but his passing vision was the best i've ever seen and his skill was undoubted to be has good has dinho"s. Dinho is good player but he did have 3 seasons of poor form and then had a slugglish start to this season before showing some of his old devastating skills. I'm glad dinho is back to his best but will never touch zidane as a footballer in my eyes.

Posted by Anonymous on 03/03/2010

Lots of people keep talking about ronnie's lost of pace. The truth of the matter is, he doesn't need it to be effective as Kaka does. He's the best all around attacking player of the decade!
As fa as dunga's concerned, its a tactical and preference issue. Kaka fits his counter attacking style perfectly. And he is their main playmaker now. Both ronnie and kaka needs the ball. Secondly, Dunga's is in love with robinho on the flank with his quickness and flair. Hence, no room for Dhino . Eventhough he is my fav player of all time.

Posted by Thompson on 03/03/2010

If it is not Ronaldinho, it can never be like Ronaldinho. I love kaka but I adore Ronaldinho cos he's the best and will always be the best. FORZA MILAN!!!!!

Posted by jonty on 03/03/2010

soooooooooooo, yes ronaldinho or no ronaldinho hmmmmm lets take a vote
looks like the polls say 7 billion to 1 brazillian Dunga
Im just hoping that dunga is creating alot of suspense for dinho making him think dunga wont pick him for the squad but dinho will payer better n better n better and dunga will include him in the end. If he dont get picked that would be a disaster of a choice. a player in a class of his own , he has reached heights no other player has evr been to . this player is reallllllllly comitted to playing to playing for his team now and is entering the prime of his career. shame if he's left out

Posted by Alex Pato/Wayne Rooney on 03/03/2010

he is fantastic, there is no one who will disagree with that but as we could see dunga is all about hard work. If we look at Robinho we can see the difference in his work ethic wit Brazil and when he was in england with man city. I do think Ronnie will be going to the World cup but we wont be seeing him alot until he starts tracking back. Even if he refuses to run back i think he still deserves to be in the team because he is currently the best Brazilian in the world!!! Dunga needs to call him up!!!!

Posted by Robert V on 03/03/2010

I have always been a fan of Ronaldinho and am glad that he is back in form and enjoying soccer again. But lets be honest, Brazil can easily field 3 teams that would be considered favorites. That's how difficult it is for Dunga to select a team. I agree with an earlier comment that you can not have only players who want to control the ball, it is one of the reasons they lost the last WC despite having Kaka, Dinho, Ronaldo, etc. Dunga is trying to field a balanced hungry team that can play different styles of soccer depending on the situation. I think he is succeeding. The only thing that Ronaldinho brings that he might be missing is that ability to give that killer pass. If he would agree to come off the bench without an attitude then he should be selected.

Posted by George Velazquez on 03/03/2010

All u haters(people who envy) out there should know by know that Ronaldinho is #1. He took Barcelona and Milan to another level of football, he has massive skill that no one else has. They tried to immatate but theres only one ronaldinho, hes the best soccer player that came out of Brazil . Just get it through your head hes is simply the best!! And if diego milito is better than him why is he not playing for argentina??? you know why??cuz they got Messi the best right know of argentina!!!! Argentina played today 3/3/10 and he didn't play??? WHY??????? AC MILAN IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE THE BEST IN ITALY.

Posted by Paul on 03/04/2010

Matteo I have one word for you....BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!

I would hope more people like us step up and THANK this kid for his gift to us. He not only plays soccer but entertains. His creativity, innovation and magic are reasons to watch every match. If this were basketball, I would be chanting MVP...MVP...MVP. There is NO ONE like him. People can disrespect him, talk about his "weaknesses" and to me it only amounts to jealousy and a lack of objectiveness, perhaps class. He is truly remarkable. There is only 1 RONALDINHO and Milan have him.

Kudos to Ronnie for proving the world wrong. Kudos to Leo for having the balls and courage to give this phenom a chance and back him 110%. What a steal!!!! When the likes of Ronaldo and Kaka are being bought for astronomical $$$, it's amazing what Milan paid for him. WOW.

Dunga and Brasil should be ashamed of themselves for not having this kid on the WC team. Kaka over him? Robinho over him? Adriano? Scandalous is one word for it.

Posted by Kay on 03/04/2010

Dunga is trying to ruin Brazil's chances of winning the World Cup. Kaka is good i agree but he cannot meet the standards of that Ronaldinho wo lost a few yard and gained some weight. Dunga will be stupid if he picks Kleberson over Dinho. A four year old will tell you that Dinho is just MAGNIFICENT.

Posted by Mehowik on 03/04/2010

Brazilian Salsa!!! Priceless.

Posted by Abyl on 03/04/2010

now i am trying to say in italian. Forgive me if i'm wrong:-

"Ronnie è la migliore in una seria di data.. anche milito può't stand a modo suo. dunga è un idiota se egli non selezionare lui di Coppa del Mondo"

Posted by douglas on 03/04/2010

the reason why 'Dinho, a brilliant player, will not go to 2010 is because he is disruptive to the team.
he will probably choose to go party the night before the opening group game.
and also a lack of defensive responsibility

Posted by LTU on 03/04/2010

All the above comments are spot on! the problem is Dinho can't really play alongside Kaka, I've not watched many of the games they played together but some and it did not work as both are looking to going forward with own idea so the teammates not sure who to follow, seem lost, Kaka is fast talented but Dinho is UNIQUE as he was in those Barca days back in 2004-06, he is magical to watch,to leave him out of the WC is a big loss for football fan but again Kaka seem to play better with the current team than Dinho, so I don't know what can Dunga do??

Posted by Jose on 03/04/2010

It's funny how you take a shot at Kaka even though he just won every award imaginable last year by saying he's lost a step and his speed is everything. But yet admit Ronaldinho has gained weight and lost speed and pretend like he's still the same player he always was.

Your bias is incredibly evident. Kaka is MUCH beter then Ronaldinho. I honestly believe that there is not a more overrated player in soccer since 2006 then this guy. Just ask Dunga. It's also funny how you say he's so important, yet last year he was terrible and Pato was still great.

Please please please spare me this nonsense.

Posted by Milton on 03/04/2010

Dinho is the reason why I became a big barca fan, he's the reason why I love this game so much; because he makes the game look beautiful...his passing and technique are just unique. In my opinion "DINHO" is the best player I have ever seen.

Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 03/04/2010

Jose:

1. Taking a shot is different than stating a fact. I loved Kaka at Milan. He was one of my favorite players of all time and I grew up idolizing him. However, it is a widely accepted FACT that knee injuries have significantly reduced his speed.

2. Kaka being much better than Ronaldinho is simply your opinion. Not a fact. I never compared the two. Not only is it pointless to do so, but their styles couldn't be more different. What I said is that they do not play well together. And if you re-read my column carefully, which obviously you didn't do, you'd see that I clearly mention Ronaldinho's significant jump of quality this year. Last year he was missing the continuity to be effective on a weekly basis.

Posted by Drewd @ UG on 03/04/2010

PELE, MARADONA, ZIDANE, GAUCHO, RONALDO, MESSI...
Here is no room for Kaka, Rooney and the like...
Dinho has proven his mantle beyond doubt...this is not a case of form...it is class...

For those really asking him to go defending is forgetting that he never really made much help in that..Those making such comparisons have watched too much of the English league where soccer is about running the entire pitch to make a contribution..

Ronaldinho was never that kind of player; for the benefit of his longevity, he should remain in the opponents half causing more damage...
Against ManU, he tore them to shreds..not to mention his vision..that assist to Seedorf is very rare in the play of other teams...

Dunga may think what he wants, but every coach that is familiar with the world cup knows that you need some players whose moment of brilliance will be the difference between early exit and a final!

NICE ARTICLE!!!

Posted by Drewd @ UG on 03/04/2010

Just worth a mention, though, is that Dinho never quite helped his case by going partying and putting on weight...but the coach and team set up has a big role to play in keeping players motivated and focused - and I believe he lacked this for quite a while when he went AWOL.

Losing a few more pounds and gaining more focus would benefit not only him, but the rest of the team and those who love entertaining football...

Posted by Paulo on 03/04/2010

Ronaldinho has proved to everyone he can still play at a very high level and lead a team. If Dunga is truly worried about team chemistry, at least, out of respect to both Ronnie AND the Brazilian fans, he HAS to ask him to be a bench player. Those penalty kicks and corner kicks can easily be the difference between a win or a loss as well. Dunga, just give the man a shot to prove to the world he can win it again on the big stage.

Posted by isak on 03/04/2010

man get dunga back to his senses and the quick he does that, the better.with ronnie in yo squad u surely have options on how to change a gam,yea he rarely trods back but dunga should know that ronnie cant play like a defensive mid.he has to spare the energies to beat defenders,get dunga those season milan games on video.go go go go ronnie!!!!

Posted by awais on 03/04/2010

ronaldinho is one the most entertaining players of the game ..........
he style of playing is truly UNIQUE .......
all other players have skills but ronaldinho has amazing ball control,swerve,dribbling abilty and a powerful and accurate shot .........
he brings his skills into the game .........
his every move is breathtaking ...........
football would not have been football today without him ..................
you cant just leave a player as good as him out of the world cup ........

Posted by tetteh on 03/04/2010

Ronnie does things that I have never seen any one do before , maybe he does not play defence but again that why football is played by a team,A good coach balances his team in such away that they cover each other weakness and become s stronger team that way. Also if I were a coach I will prefer Ronnie to conserve his energy for the last quarter of the field anyway

Posted by Cisco on 03/04/2010

Dinho and Kaka not being able to play together is a myth. Remember the 2005 Confederations Cup. They had Kaka, Robinho, Ronaldhino and Adriano up front. They destroyed Germany and Argentina. Brazil's problem is in the midfield since Ze Roberto left. The main culprit in 2006 was Ronaldo who simply came in to the tournament completely out of shape and overweight. However, the coach should have identified that and left him out and put his trust on younger, motivated and talented players. And I don't mean Adriano either because he had already started his decline even then. Now Brazil has a coach who is too europeanized in his style. Soccer is no longer the beautiful game it's all about work with him. But isn't it how he was himself as a player?

Posted by kutex on 03/04/2010

all soccer loving fans should stand up and protest, call on football governing body FIFA to pressurize Dunga for Dinho's inclusion in the brazil world cup team.

That is not a player to miss watching this summer. He is a beauty to watch. i can't imagin not watching him play in south africa. fans won't forgive dunga if he fails to include dinho in brazil's squad.

He musn't play 90mins. Dunga plllssssssssssssssssssssss.

Posted by patrick on 03/04/2010

the world cup will be boring without Ronaldinho

Posted by imran s.h on 03/04/2010

am on ur side man .he is de best futball player i hv ever seen .i wish he plays World cup .he is n wil alws stay n our memories..his form wld bring miracles 2 Brazil de great.
big up man.............wish 2 hear frm u again thru ma email God bless u...................

Posted by Roy M on 03/04/2010

Great article. I have to admit, looking forward to the world cup Brazil look solid but without Roaldinho they do not look scary. The likes of Robinho and Kaka may be good enough to look like favorites now but I don't think they are not enough to beat teams with complete squads in all lines, including a good coach. I am talking about Spain, England and possibly Germany and Italy. Brazil need Ronaldinho if they want that edge. Even if you just put him in the last 25 minutes of the game.

Posted by Joe on 03/04/2010

I think players are like politicians. They really do not care about who likes them..sometimes, though. So i don't really get deep into player stardom connections.

But i must admit today that, RONALDINHO is the reason why Barcelona is what it is today. Yes! RONALDINHO made the UEFA Champions league a thrill to watch.

He turned football into a world-class movie..maybe the AVATAR..lol

Posted by rogers on 03/04/2010

Dinho. forever..no one like him.

Posted by Ricardo Guimaraes on 03/04/2010

Please let me give you guys a brazilian version on it. In Brazil, Ronaldinho is a legend. Everyone wants and hope to see him at the WC 2010, the world need it. The problem is that by the time that was givin a chance to Ronaldinho, he failed. And that for Dunga is the key for it and also after that he created a unit for the national team with players that arenot so "fancy" but plays a competitive football. But the question is, Do we want a competitive football or we hope to see a Magical Football ? No doubt that we are going to see Ronaldinho at WC 2010. He is (in shape of course) the best !

Posted by Tim Claessens on 03/04/2010

What about the importance of Fabregas to Arsenal. To be the clubs leading scorer as a central midfielder is incredible. He has had an amazing year and may single handedly win a title for Arsenal. If he doesn't finish in the top 3 at the next world player of the year the award is a joke

Posted by shosay on 03/04/2010

SIMPLE: Ronnie needs to add the defensive part of the game to his 'A' game...with this he'll be the complete player! Dunga won't use a player that doesn't help the team both defensively & offensively...Ronaldinho lacks the former. All in all he's a world class player & am not surprised at his exploits this season.

Posted by Praga -SA on 03/04/2010

I think dunga is relying on his fantastic defence to carry him thro' the wc and if they do win it it will be thro' penalties,like the way dunga himself won it in 1994.Kaka and Robinho do not have the upper body power to hold on to the ball like Ronnie can;he also has this tremendous ability to run past defenders,using his upper body strength(just ask John Terry).Being South African,I believe a team must have incisive players who don't need to run a lot to make an impact,because I tell you what the altitude at Soccer City Jhb could really start getting to players no matter how good they are.Ommitting an incisive player of Ronnie's capabilities could be dunga's undoing.

Posted by Arc Stone,Kano,Nigeria on 03/04/2010

Ronaldinho is d best player to play for;Brazil,Barcalona and milan.Milan's form this season depend on his blistering form.I pray 4 him to reproduce his best form ever till d end of his carear,winning d champions league 3 more times 4 milan b4 hanging his boots.Long live Ronnie,long live Milan my best ever team!!!

Posted by UZOR on 03/04/2010

wow it is a long note well i love dinho hear in Nigeria we call him GAHUSHUO

Posted by Dodoma on 03/04/2010

RONALDINHO has more positive then negative points ... so I think he will be back to the brasil team ... BEST FOOTBALL PLAYER

Posted by Ampeire Dickson on 03/04/2010

Ronaldinho who can be compared to this great,magician in football?.He is the reason why i supported football in 2006 world cup.I smile at Dunga for not calling Dhino because every opponent player fears this smiling face in the pitch.Ronaldinho i will live to cheer your moves in the pitch and wait to see you in south Africa teaching people how to play football because your the class apart.

Posted by BERBIE on 03/04/2010

cow dung is not putting him in the team for brazil because for so many years before the world cup he disappeared and has not seen the importance of performing at club level because there is no big competition.

the only reason he has resurged is his desire to be there for the world cup, which imo and ido (in dunga's opinion) is selfish. like players who fake injuries during qualifyings and friendlies and still want to play at the big international tournys. to a coach that is poor ethic and that is what coaches like maradona and dunga and clamping down on. thats why they have brought in so many fresh names who are actually willing to die from start to end for their country.

think about it!..but still i must say hes good... i think its just personal, so we wont understand cow dungs position

Posted by kai on 03/04/2010

I take ur point on Kleberson and Julio batista, but nilmar has played extremely well every time he is in the pitch for brazil, and grafite has been playing very well tooo\

Posted by rmad17 on 03/04/2010

people can be so funny at times.... ronaldinho is a GOD while going forward but when he looses the ball he doesn't even try to get it back (HE HAS NEVER DONE THAT even when he was top form at barca). People ALWAYS try to pin blame on CR for not tracking back when he loses the ball but the same can be said for dinho as well. This is probably the main reason why dunga isn't trying to call him up. Look at brasil and you will see that they all work to get the ball back- even ROBINHO works his a.ss off for the team. Plus i think adding dinho would slow down the team. One thing i don't get is why JULIO BAPTISTA is there?

Posted by IBES on 03/04/2010

There is not one player who is as influential to his team as Ronaldinho is to Milan.

Yes there is, Pato.

Posted by Mike on 03/04/2010

He might not have defensive prowess that is expected in a midfielder, but when you have enforcers like Ambrosini and Gattuso in the midfield as well, they take care of mopping up anyone that feels bold enough to take a stroll in the midfield. Gattuso might have lost a step, but Ambrosini has really stepped up and become just as much of a hard tackling ball winning midfielder as Gattuso if not more so.

Posted by Gliedson on 03/04/2010

Bobby you and I think alike. The main reason why Dunga does not pick him is just like you describe it. He is only effective when he has the ball. He doesn't fight for the ball whenever he looses it. Messi, Rooney, Zidane, Kaka, Robinho, Xavi all those players fight for the ball whenever they lose it. They just don't stand there waiting for someone else to do their work. Ronnie knows that Dunga does not like that but he doesn't seem to care but Dunga doesn't care even more. If you don't play how he wants you to play you are not on his team.

Posted by Rishi on 03/04/2010

Pato and Ronaldinho are worth taking on the "selecao" to the world cup. Dinho has lost a few steps in his quickness, however his reading and anticipation of the game and his final passes are tremendous.

Pato, even injured is much better than Adriano and Nilmar is the man in form and should be ahead of Robinho. No Diego, but their is the "golden trash can winner" FELIPE MELO on the team? Is Dunga a real coach or just pretending to be one?

Posted by Ricardo on 03/04/2010

Dont dare say Cristaino Ronaldo tracks back, thats just a blatant lie. Rooney on the other hand...

Posted by joseph...NY, Usa on 03/05/2010

to Glliedson.. i agree totally with you, accept on some points... while MOST of this is true, none of the players you have just mentioned do not have the vision and total football mind as ronaldinho does. For ronaldinho, da game"a" football is a chess match for him. All you have to to do is give him his pace back, and he is one of the best players,(if the best) in the world. you should not even compare him to robinho. if robinho was better than ronaldinho he would still be MANCHESTER CITY. I am a UNITED F4N and while i am aware of the form that rooney is in right now. Ronaldinho is the most valuable player for his team than all the top teams in europe. We can play without rooney and still get results, but MILAN without da bucktooth brazillian samba man cannot get a good result. one player that i will compare him to is C.Ronaldo as far as players that their teams need to get a result..although sometimes can get a result without him...Love this debate..P.S ,DUNGA MST HAV BRANE-DAMAGE.

Posted by joseph...NY, Usa on 03/05/2010

to Glliedson.. i agree totally with you, accept on some points... while MOST of this is true, none of the players you have just mentioned do not have the vision and total football mind as ronaldinho does. For ronaldinho, da game"a" football is a chess match for him. All you have to to do is give him his pace back, and he is one of the best players,(if the best) in the world. you should not even compare him to robinho. if robinho was better than ronaldinho he would still be MANCHESTER CITY. I am a UNITED F4N and while i am aware of the form that rooney is in right now. Ronaldinho is the most valuable player for his team than all the top teams in europe. We can play without rooney and still get results, but MILAN without da bucktooth brazillian samba man cannot get a good result. one player that i will compare him to is C.Ronaldo as far as players that their teams need to get a result..although sometimes can get a result without him...Love this debate..P.S ,DUNGA MST HAV BRANE-DAMAGE.

Posted by Anonymous on 03/05/2010

As someone who watched him decline in person in Barcelona, I can tell you he hasn't changed much. While he is still wonderful with the ball at his feet and can play a 40 yard pass to someone's feet, he's still lazy, he still acts as though he's been stabbed when the ball is stolen, the only difference is that these traits are rewarded and encouraged in Italian football. The reason why he isnt being considered for the WC is that he is slow and every other Brazilian being considered is also great with the ball, his name recognition might get him calls in Italy but it won't help the Brazilian national team. All of this is a shame because his prime was comparable to Zidane's with respect to the sheer awe fans and opponents felt toward him.

Posted by johnatan on 03/05/2010

i think he will be in the world cup all the brazilians are going to put pressure on dunga.Dunga is sucks any way is not a coach whoever can coach that team like that he almost lost to the USA in the summer for the stupid ideas. But this is different know is the world cup. I hate dunga he got that brazilian play his style that sock style not the brazil style that they call the jogabonito. any way for everyone this is the new cool place to join for football JOGABONITOFOOTBALL.COM

Posted by steve on 03/05/2010

We have a muppet of a commentator on Foxtel here in Australia named Craig Foster who claimed had Wayne Rooney and Ronaldinho been playing for Milan in Leg 1 of the Champions League second round game, Milan would have won comfortably. Well mr Foster, had Wayne Rooney and Ronaldinho both been playing for Man Utd the other day against Milan, United could have won by 5 or 6 goals - both players are devistating

Posted by jason on 03/05/2010

ronnie is the best player to ever play the game.i would be hartbroken if he were not in the wc. he could be the deciding factor and dunga would be stupid to leave him out. Ronaldinho has also been playing amazing for milan

Posted by Natalia on 03/05/2010

Now that Roberto Carlos and his big thighs probably wont be there, Ronaldinho has the next largest muscular thighs to look at...
unless I watch replays of the speedskating in Vancouver lol

Posted by Sonny on 03/05/2010

In all honesty, gaucho is the most exciting player to watch. His skills and trickery on the ball are just phenomenal. I really am thankful that i have had the opportunity to watch such a player in my lifetime. True, he may not be defensive but he does pose a credible threat going forward and i believe his non selection for brazil will be a major loss for the tournament to be held on african soil. He truly is one of the greatest.

Posted by dredinho on 03/05/2010

It is a pity CR runs back occasionally messi yes but messi is nothing without xavi and iniesta CR is nothing without xabi,lass and kaka and kaka has not had a good season so far robinho did not play good in the friendly all the greats before never tackled i love zidane the only time Zidane tackled was 08 finals see where that got him.Ronaldinho just makes other players play better example messi,eto,borriello ,huntelaar and pato,if you watch 02WC clips carefully you will see who was pulling the strings thee best attacking player of all times regardless what the haters say go get your facts right Ronaldinho made the game more attractive than any other player and gave opposing coaches things to thing about every player now can be stopped and needs assistance Ronaldinho is the help is the assistant the provider the motivater the creater and he is not on full form and still a little above the rest......for sure better than every brazillian right now there must be some way you can fit him in

Posted by Musa Kibwana on 03/05/2010

I hv never seen a player who can do wat dinho has done on d pitch.... not forgetting distributing balls to himself/team mates using his back trunk... i bvl these r things players do only wen in practice pitch not on big stages... dinho! U R A WONDER 2 S WORLD OF FUTBALL.... thank GOD 4 i will one day smile wen narrating abt u to my grandchildren!

Posted by piccadillymuzzkat on 03/05/2010

Dunga will be nuts not to take Ronnie to the world cup! Simply put.

Posted by kelvin changwe on 03/05/2010

please Dunga!! please give Ronaldinho another chance of playing at WC.Please,include him in your team

Posted by Arzerouni23 on 03/05/2010

Sorry Matteo, But I think regardless of how great Ronaldinho was once, he is no longer a great player. He has missed 4 penalty kicks this season alone. WHile he is playing much better this season than what he did in the last 3 seasons, there are many players out there that are far more valuable for their respective teams than Ronaldinho for Milan. I'll name a few.
Fabregas for Arsenal, without Fabs the gunners wouldn't be in the top 4 this season let alone 3 points behind the leader after 28 league games. Rooney for United, no need to say more. Ronaldo for Real, we saw what happened to them when he was injured and didn't play. Essien for Chelsea, people don't realize why Chelsea has been struggling lately. Villa for Valencia, Valencia would be a mid table team without Villa's goals. And there are many more that are far more valuable for their teams than what Ronaldinho is for Milan.

Posted by ACM Fan on 03/05/2010

RONALDINHO is like QUARTER BACK for AC Milan!!!
FORZA MILAN, the Most successful club in the last 20 years!!!

Posted by Nicoacademia on 03/05/2010

Been following Milan since Baggio days. (10th in the league then.)

I'm quite thankful Milan is a family - and while it hurts when we lose, at least we have allowed Ronnie to find a home base. He might not be the best - but there aren't many out there above his level. I can count probably at most 11 others.

I feel that's not too bad - given our budgets too.

He has quietly led Milan on the pitch too. And made Borriello a scoring machine again! Wow!

Posted by MikeyL on 03/05/2010

Bobby:

Anyone facing Ronaldinho on the left flank will be too busy shitting themselves cos they have to face the man himself.No player would have the presence of mind to even try to "exploit" his weakness to counter attack!!!

Posted by botiloh on 03/05/2010

Gaucho is the best there has ever been and the best there will ever be.The Brazialian FA appoints a coach with a fair assumption that he has brains and watches Ronaldo de Assis Moreira every weekend!!! Its so scandalus how Dunga seem to be turning a blind eye on one of the sport's finest feets!!!Wait till you don't see the Samba boys play on the evening on July 11 in JoBurg!!!

Posted by Gianni on 03/05/2010

Understand rationale behind Dunga´s decision, but I believe is a BIG mistake....Brazil national team forwards are not world class...they will have trouble against other national teams...

A lesson to learn from Leonardo, who helped Ronaldinho come back...

Drewd you missed Cruyff....

Posted by sic on 03/05/2010

The chronology of this statement: "When he didn't feel the love from the blaugrana fans, gluttony and laziness engulfed him and he went on a two year eating and partying sabbatical" is backwards, but I like everything else in the article.

Ronnie was my favorite at Barcelona and even though many cules were bitter that he inexplicably seemed to throw the towel in on his career after reaching dizzying heights at Camp Nou, he's still in our hearts. I love seeing him smile again, even playing for another team.

Posted by AUNDRAE ROPER on 03/05/2010

RONNIE SUCH BE IN THE WORLD CUP HE IS THE BEST PLAYER I HAVE EVER WATCH LOOK AT IS SKILLS I THINK HE IS PLAYING TREMENDOUS SOCCER IN MILLIAN I THINK DUNGA SHOULD GIVE HIM A CHANCE PLEASE!!! TO PROVE TO THE WORLD THAT HE IS THE BEST. BRAZIL IS MY TEAM BUT WITHOUT RONNIE I REALLY WOULDN`T ENJOY THE WORLD CUP

Posted by AUNDRAE ROPER on 03/05/2010

RONNIE SUCH BE IN THE WORLD CUP HE IS THE BEST PLAYER I HAVE EVER WATCH LOOK AT IS SKILLS I THINK HE IS PLAYING TREMENDOUS SOCCER IN MILLIAN I THINK DUNGA SHOULD GIVE HIM A CHANCE PLEASE!!! TO PROVE TO THE WORLD THAT HE IS THE BEST. BRAZIL IS MY TEAM BUT WITHOUT RONNIE I REALLY WOULDN`T ENJOY THE WORLD CUP

Posted by z-idane on 03/05/2010

dinho is the boss no other fool cannot test, cristina ronaldo is a fool, lionesa(messi) a girl, him cannot compare to the great gaucho, i play like him so he is d skill-est and most tactical footballer and dunga a fag anyhow him do not put the boss on brazil world cup team, him cannot even reach south africa, without dinho brazil is like a scorpion without a tail( has no sting). any fool say he is not in form is truly a fool. mi friend shawn wynter say so( cannot play ball tho). where did brazil get such a stupid coach from???????? jus please allow dinho to play.

Posted by z-idane on 03/05/2010

dinho is the boss no other fool cannot test, cristina ronaldo is a fool, lionesa(messi) a girl, him cannot compare to the great gaucho, i play like him so he is d skill-est and most tactical footballer and dunga a fag anyhow him do not put the boss on brazil world cup team, him cannot even reach south africa, without dinho brazil is like a scorpion without a tail( has no sting). any fool say he is not in form is truly a fool. mi friend shawn wynter say so( cannot play ball tho). where did brazil get such a stupid coach from???????? jus please allow dinho to play.

Posted by Nasir Anaza on 03/05/2010

Will Brazil be so naieve as not to bring Ronaldinho to Africa? I know many Africans who with cheer for Brazil against the home team because of Dinho.

Dinho dose not have to come back to defend. When he holds the ball, it take 3 or more hard working defenders to dislodge him. This is to say 2 other players from his team are free to defend whatever crummies might come their way.

Posted by tyto on 03/06/2010

Truth be told,Ronaldinho is so exciting to watch and i guess everyone knows it. When he is playing you always expect him to do something crazy with the the ball,something out of this world!

If you watched the Man U game just remember the move he made prior to Pipo's shot that went overbar towards the end of the game, true genious!!!!

Dunga is just trying to follow in Big Phil's shoes, when he ommited Romario against everyone's wishes for the 2002 WC, Brazil went on to win the world cup without Romario!!! Personally i wont be supporting Brazil without RONALDINHOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Posted by tyto on 03/06/2010

Truth be told,Ronaldinho is so exciting to watch and i guess everyone knows it. When he is playing you always expect him to do something crazy with the the ball,something out of this world!

If you watched the Man U game just remember the move he made prior to Pipo's shot that went overbar towards the end of the game, true genious!!!!

Dunga is just trying to follow in Big Phil's shoes, when he ommited Romario against everyone's wishes for the 2002 WC, Brazil went on to win the world cup without Romario!!! Personally i wont be supporting Brazil without RONALDINHOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Posted by Milan 1963 on 03/06/2010

Dear Matteo, I love your blogs, probably the only one I would spend time replying and it seems that it is infecting a lot of other people too which is very good.

Dinho is the magician of the ball period. It is not his job to track back or tackle he would loose his efficiency.

Dunga is building his national team to its image, meaning industrial and efficient with no space for fantasy and beauty. Brazil today is looking more like Italy or Germany rather than Brazil with strong defense hard working midfield and strikers. BTW when Dunga was playing he was a Gattuso kind of player so you can imagine. Dunga's luck is that even his hard workers are talented enough to secure a win. Personaly I would always bring a guy like Dihno in my team especially when you need to open very tight defenses.

If he doesn't go to the WC it is a loss for all football fans, but a gain for our beloved Milan.

Posted by Hailu Dagne on 03/06/2010

Dunga is being stupid that did not re call Ronaldino . it is big misteak . About Ronaldino all of world knows him the best players in this planet .Dunga when playing for Brazil he was not best player not like Ronaldino known person.
But thank for lenardo milan coch he gave him full start the game look know where milan satays
it is four pints diferent .

Posted by Ash on 03/06/2010

Great work Matteo I can see you are developing quite the fan base! Well deserved mate.

Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 03/06/2010

Milan 1963:

Thanks for your continuous support!

The main difference between Dunga's Brazilian sides compared to previous ones is that he employs two Gattuso type players in the midfield rather than one. I saw one of their games not too long ago where both Felipe Melo and Gilberto Silva were deployed.

The real craziness is seeing the players he IS choosing instead of Ronaldinho & Pato. Any team in the world should have a space for el Gaucho. He is the master of the unexpected, can singlehandedly carry a team in dire situations, and it seems he is really trying to shed his image of being overweight and lazy.

Posted by Raphael on 03/06/2010

All the good things Ronaldinho does for Milan make up for his defensive weakness...

Posted by Kev on 03/06/2010

What a laid of rubbish.

There are other players for other teams who mean far more to their sides game than Ronaldinho does to Milan.

The fact is the Ronaldinho cannot defend. That is a huge part of any players game, even if it is Ronaldinho's only bug flaw... it is a very, very, very big part of the game. Not to mention Ronaldinho hides when things are going his way. Look at the United game, where was he when United went ahead?! He was on holiday... that's where!

This article is simply wrong! Barcelona got rid of him for a reason, he was a liability. Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea would not touch him with a mile long barge pole. The are players that offer far more to a team than Ronaldinho could and that is why he is nowhere near in contention for best player in the world.

Posted by Abinu Waiye on 03/06/2010

Dunga will be Bastard Idiot when he can see what Ronnie is Perfoming now and don't want to pick him 4 WC. BC if he don't he is a Bad News to all Nations.

Posted by Bob the Clown on 03/06/2010

Ronaldinho ruined Barca in his last year, and their failure to deal with his lack of work ethic cost them Eto'o too. Ronaldinho has as much talent as anyone, but he'd rather party all night and give a half-assed effort every third game than be a professional and come to work every day. And right now he's no Andres Iniesta.

Posted by Joe on 03/06/2010

Sorry, but there ARE players as influential to their clubs, or perhaps more so, than Ronaldinho. While I don't want to discount his importance to AC Milan, I have two words for you: Cesc Fabregas.

Posted by slimmy on 03/06/2010

Dinho no doubt is a fantastic player but need to still shed off some pounds & work on his pace more to rekindle his glorious magical El Goucho Classico days.

Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 03/06/2010

Kev & Joe:

Have you watched Milan games this year, or just the one against Manchester United? The simple fact is: every Milan possession runs through Ronaldinho. Now, I won't dispute the importance of Fabregas to Arsenal and Rooney to Manchester United, but Ronnie has created nearly EVERY single goal opportunity for us this season.

Posted by Maverick on 03/06/2010

I always believed that Ronnie will start to shine this year with Milan. But he proved me wrong, he didn't just shine.. but he became so pivotal and influential beyond everybody's expectation. He is always the fulcrum of Milan's attacking display with lots of flair. He is rolling back his glory years. Dunga is not doing Ronnie any justice for not selecting him. Without doubt, at this moment, he is the best and most exciting brazilian player.

Posted by Italia on 03/06/2010

Matteo Bonetti

Humorous article and well written and good to acknowledge about Ronaldinho's significance to Milan with his assists and goaols this season.

BUT regarding your later comments about his place in Brazil's team, I do not agree because you and many ARE GETIING CONFUSED HERE. Ronaldinho never has played as well for national team as for club. He is dismal at best for Brazil. Just watch his qualifying games. He will not be as effective for Brazil and if he does get a call-up he would be expected to start for them. That will never happen because Brazil already have an established first-team line-up with good partnerships between the players. Also, Gaucho and Ricardo Kaka have never linked up well.
Ronaldinho is a liability for Brazil and more flair than substance (if even that). But a toatally different story for Milan though which you correctly stated.
Oh and in kaka vs. Ronaldinho argument, I would say Kaka is just more consistent than Ronaldinho.

Posted by Joe on 03/06/2010

Matteo,
I've seen a few Milan matches this season, and the game with the Ronaldihno hat-trick was a tremendous effort from him. Sure, he's a great player, and has found his form again this year. However, I feel that Milan have enough talent to do without him if he's out.
As an Arsenal supporter, I feel Cesc is much more important to our side and the way we play than Ronaldinho is to Milan and their style of play. I would also argue that part of his success this season is due to the pace of players like Pato that have other teams frightened.
Rooney is an important player to United as well, but EVERY ball is played to him, EVERY time. If he's not on the pitch, United are flat. However, him being absent doesn't change how they play (kick it long, hope for a foul, hope for a mistake, get gifted extra time, etc.).

Posted by blama koneh on 03/06/2010

Dinho is the best player in world

Posted by Al on 03/06/2010

Ronaldinho is just the best player ever played football. People talk about Pele, Maradona,.. but the game at that time was not as sophisticated, as physical,as fast as it is today. Ronnie at his prime, had speed, power, technical abilities, charisma, that no one else possess in soccer, he has it all. He was and still is a joy to watch. Someone mentioned about him failing to perform in 2002 world cup. Man! if it was not for him, there was no way Brazil, would have gone part England. In 2006, it was not his fault, he had no space it was the coach's problem failing to select a team. Jamming big name players in one game was a wrong move. How can you put three midfielders like Ronnie, Kaka, Jurinho in one game ?. Ronnie is just the best ever played the game, no wonder he was voted the player of the decade, people who voted for him know the game, and in the future he will be voted a player of the century. So you out there;stop being haters of Ronnie just give him credit he deserves.THE BEST

Posted by Emidio Galea on 03/07/2010

Glad to know that there many soccer fans who share my views abour Ronaldhino. For me he is one of the greatest players, if not the greatest, of all time. Has anybody ever seen a player shooting a dead ball into the net from outside the penalty area without a run? Only Ronaldinho can do that. Unfortunately, because of his occasional undignified behaviour off the field, many people, including coaches, who should know better, denigrate his brilliance!

Posted by joe on 03/07/2010

AL no way ronnie is anywhere close 2 pele at all. NO one did it better or LONGER than pele. A country STOPPED a war to watch him play. PELE at 17 lead his team to the world cup noone is even close to breaking his goal record. Pele what was his weakness? left foot right foot head didnt matter. ROnnie is world class but noone can redo what pele did. WHat do U mean the game pele played wasnt sophisticated, or physical as today? they took pele out numerous times with horrid tackles. On top of this pele is known for his work ethic , work for humanity, and he is a NATIONAL TREASURE to brazil.

You say ronaldinho was voted player of the decade

PELE was voted ATHLETE of the CENTURY not just the best footballer but the best ATHLETE onlY ALI the boxer can claim that as he won and pele was second in the other major award organization.

that said Ronnie is a awesome player and i love to watch him play whenever i can

PS Pele was a beast at penalties.

Posted by Ashim on 03/07/2010

Steven Gerrard.

Posted by rajarshi on 03/07/2010

i love this really - that so many people are blogging on this topic and praising ronnie - that there are so many true football fans who realise this genius' greatness and have witnessed his phenomenal skills- one example of what he is about - while in barcelona in 2006 and in one particular match ( dont remember the name of the opponent), he made an audacious scoop to pass the ball to eto,who had was left with no choice but to score, but ronnie didnt even bother to look at it , he turned around and raised his hand as a celebration of the goal , even before eto had finished scoring...his vision is just maddening. he is the best now and among the three best players ever.

Posted by nikhil on 03/07/2010

u suck dunga u cannot throw ronaldinho out of the squad he a legend and the captain of brazil u would see many of the fans loosing faith in u if u remove onaldinho out of the squad

Posted by nikhil on 03/07/2010

dunga will be haten by every one in d world roonie has the spark and can prove the world dat there's no one to take his place.................believe me not even pele or ronaldo or kaka

Posted by Jared on 03/07/2010

Steven Gerrard. 2004-2010.
Nuf Said.

Posted by Kushal on 03/07/2010

Ronnie is one of the best in the world and will remain amoung the best. He should be selected tto play for BRAZIL. Ronnie and Kaka again would make miracle. Still I remain confident Ac Milan would beat Man Utd in the ECC by 2-0.

Posted by nicolas mattos on 03/07/2010

why the **** didnt you put dinho and pato best players ever

Posted by iyke on 03/07/2010

i love u

Posted by Romario on 03/07/2010

Dunga will have to learn the hard way in failing to make it through the first round in the 2010 wc. If Brazil fail to win the wc is solely due to him not picking Ronnie in my opinion. he is that gifted to change the game at any moment. Dunga have to remember that he played at international level well into his 30's despite his lack luster performances at club level. He was always a fan favourite. Ronnie is playing great football, a fan fav and still not in the team. go figure. Brazil will not win the wc. Argentina will ;)

Posted by usman on 03/08/2010

ronaldinho is the best ever player alive... ronaldinho is the only player in the world that a defender will see the ball on his foot and can not touch it.. ronaldinho is the only player that has stayed 30secons with 3 defender in one place(not running with the ball) but they could not touch the ball.......

Posted by Michel on 03/10/2010

I love u Ronaldinho.........gogogoooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Saints on 04/11/2010

Ronaldinho is simply better than those that existed and those that are still existing, Kaka sucks, as for Dunga i neva espected him yo be a good coach bcos he was not a good player.
last i chacked dunga was a fool,,,,,,,,,,,

Posted by ForzaMilan504 on 06/15/2010

How Julio "Da Beast" Baptuista got picked over Ronaldinho i will never understand. Ac Milan scored 60 goals Ronnie was directly involed in 27. 15 assists and 12 goals. julio doesnt come close to Ronnie in Class or Form. I heard from a program on Ronaldinho that when dunga was at the end of his career in Brasil and Ronnie was at Gremio doing flick over Dung and he never forgave him for that. Dunga wants to prove he can lead this Brazil. He has, Copa America in da bag,2007, Number One in qualifing in Conmenbol, 2009 Confedaration Cup, The Stars let Brazil down in 2006 World Cup. Ronaldinho would excel on this Brasil but were not gonna see it and i doubt but hope he can have sum role still cuz hes on the reserve team and maybe in 2014...

Posted by hussein on 07/02/2010

Rolandino is the world's most skilled footbler around the world. I have seen zezu playing , rolando, figo, and even kaka I have never seen a player who is naturaly giveted as rolandino. Dung was mildfelder definder who does know anything about skills. after all dung is selfish, and the world cup in south Africa is only few weeks,and rolandio will shine again, and dung will go hideout after big loosing in this world cup either the quateral semifinal.

Posted by Ckubin on 07/03/2010

carlos dunga is COW DUNGA

Posted by jegede adamson on 07/11/2010

i want to know if i can get a prefered club in which i can be sing,am a footballer.one of pepsi football academ,with three years experience.my id is adamsonwonderful@yahoo.com

Posted by gelo on 09/06/2010

ronnie still got some skills but most of his skills went away wen he went away from barca.... he had the cordination n d assistance of top class soccer man... xavi, inesta.... at milan after d departure of kaka only pirlo can do dat..

Posted by tabletki na odchudzanie on 09/12/2010

This website is very immpressive, you are good writer, waiting for more info

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About
Matteo Bonetti Born and raised just a few kilometers away from The San Siro, Matteo Bonetti has been watching the Rossoneri ever since childhood. The passion was instilled by a family whose fanaticism for the team dates back to the early 1900's. Instead of bursting with an obscenity laden tirade, or turning any object around him into a projectile weapon after a disappointing Milan outing, Matteo can now channel his emotions into a more effective, and most importantly: safe, manner - writing on a global platform. He is a young journalist whose grandfather was the Vice President of Milan nearly four decades ago. E-mail him: themilanguy@gmail.com, and follow him on twitter: @TheMilanGuy

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