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Overview

Ronaldinho is the famous Brazilan soccer player known for his enthatic dekes and his high-light reel goals. He currently plays for AC Milan in Serie A. He plays for the Brazilan national team. He is an attacking midfielder, which is in between the central midfielder and the forwards in a tradtional 4-4-2 (four defeneders, four midfielders and two forwards) setup.His lesser known, but full name, is Ronaldo de Assis Moreira. He often goes by Ronaldinho Gaúcho to differentiate himself from Ronaldo. In Portuguese, Ronaldinho means "Little Ronaldo". Ronaldo, another famous Brazilian soccer player, was known as that in Brazil, so Ronaldinho added Gaúcho as a nickname to make sure no one mistook him for Ronaldo. Once he had played in Europe for a while he became well known and decided to drop Gaúcho.

Early Years

Ronaldinho was born in Porto Alegre on March 21st 1980. He is currently 29 years old. He first was interested in futsal (indoor soccer) and beach volleyball. However, it was not until later he developed an interst in regular football. He was first identified as a rising star at the young age of thirteen where his team won over another local team 23-0 scoring all 23 goals. At seventeen, he played for the under seventeen world cup team in Egypt scoring two goals on penalty kicks in the championship game.

Club Beginnings

Ronaldinho started his professional club career with Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense, a professional club based out of his home town. He

Grêmio crest

appeared in thirty-five games scoring fourteen goals between 1998 and 2001. In the 2001-2002 season he signed with the French club Paris Saint-Germain, on a five year deal which ended short because of a few reasons. The manager proclaimed Ronaldinho was more focused on Parisain nightlife than football. Later, in the 2002-2003 season, when the club failed to qualify for any European competition, Ronaldinho made it clear he wanted nothing more to do with the club.

Major Clubs

FC Barcelona crest

In 2003 Ronaldinho signed with FC Barcelona, the club with which his fame grew. He wore the number ten for the next five years with Barcelona. However Ronaldinho was not Barcelona's first choice, they originally tried to sign David Beckham, but with him being transferred to Real Madrid, they decided to go into the market for Ronaldinho, and outbid Manchester United. He made his first appearance in a friendly match against AC Milan, where they were victorious 2-0. Ronaldinho contributed a goal. In the 2004-2005 season FC Barcelona won the La Liga title. With Ronaldinho on their team, they went on to win it again the next year. In the 2006-2007 season they went trophyless, however Ronaldinho hit a major milestone. He scored his fiftieth career goal against Villarreal. The next season would but his last with this club. They finished third overall. During his career with Barcelona, he won two foot-baller of the year awards, and was able to score on a bicycle kick, something he had dreamed of doing since he was a boy.

In 2008 Ronaldinho signed a three year contract with AC Milan for £21 million after turning down Manchester City's offer of £25.5 million. With Clarence Seedorf already wearing number ten, Ronaldinho chose to wear number eighty because of his birth year, 1980. He scored his first goal with the club against AC Milan's rivals Inter Milan, the game winning goal in a 1-0 victory.

International Career

In 1999 Ronadinho was busy in international competition. He participated in the FIFA World Youth Championship in Nigeria. He scored three goals before Brazil was eliminated by Urugay in the Quarter finals. He then scored his first goal for the men's national team in a 3-1 victory over Latvia. Three days later, the Copa América tournament commenced and Brazil won. Ronaldinho scored one goal in the tournament. A week after the conclusion of the Copa América he was called up to play in the Confederations Cup where he scored in every game including a hat-trick in an 8-2 win over Saudia-Arabia.

World Cup

Ronaldinho played for the 2002 Brazilian World Cup team. The team won the world cup, beating Germany in the final. The tournament took place in South Korea and Japan. Ronaldinho scored two goals, one coming in the 2-1 victory over England in the semi-finals. He was later sent off (red carded) for his tackle on defender Danny Mills. He returned in the final to play in the 2-0 victory over Germany.

In the 2005 Confederation Cup, he led his team to another title. Beating Argentina in the finals 4-1. He recieved Man of the Match in this game. He also tied the record for the tournaments highest scorer, perviously held by Cuauhtémoc Blanco with nine goals.

Brazil was seen as a disapointment in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Ronaldinho went scorless with only one assist in their 4-1 victory over Japan. They were eliminated in the Quarter final by France, a 1-0 loss.

Ronaldinho was named to the 2008 Brazilian Summer Olympics team. Ronaldinho scored his two goals in their win over New Zealand 5-0 to bring home the bronze.

Awards

Golden Ball Award

FIFA Confederations Cup Top Scorer, and Golden Ball - 1999

Rio Grande do Sul State Championship Top Scorer - 1999

FIFA World Cup All-star Team - 2002

FIFA 100 - 2004

EFE Trophy - 2004

FIFA World Player of the Year - 2004, 2005

UEFA Club Best Forward - 2004 - 2005

European Best Footballer of the Year - 2005

FIFPro World Player of the Year - 2005, 2006

UEFA Club Footballer of the Year - 2005 - 2006

UEFA Team of the Year - 2004, 2005, 2006

FIFPro Worl XI - 2005, 2006, 2007

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