Aug 10, 2006

Video Ronaldinho presents great moments against Real Madrid

In the section Video Ronaldinho I launched in my blog a few days ago, as I explained the purpose of this section is sharing with you some of the best plays of Ronaldinho, so you can witness for yourself his magic with the soccer ball, dribbles and tricks.

This time I will share with you one of the greatest moments I think Ronaldinho has ever had in his career, he has had many great moments, but this one in particular is sort of an icon, at least that's my point of view. The ocasion was very special, it was a very important game, FC Barcelona was playing against Real Madrid in Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. That day I can say that most soccer fans in the world were expecting this particular game, I don't know how many people watched on TV that game, but it must have been millions all over the world. I was one of them, and I was thinking about what a great season FC Barcelona was having, and what a great season for Ronaldinho as well. I was like expecting a great game from Ronaldinho that day, but I never could imagine how big performance he was going to have.

FC Barcelona won that game 3-0, the 1st goal was made by Eto'o in the first half. The 2nd and 3rd goals do you know or do you remember who scored them?. I'm sure you already know the answer..........Ronaldinho of course!. But these were no usual or simple goals, they really were spectacular.

After the last goal from Ronaldinho, he received and oustanding ovation and applauses from Real Madrid fans. Well, if you want to take a look at these great moments that day in Madrid, you are invited to watch this video, just press the play button, it's the one with the little triangle. I hope you enjoy......

Aug 7, 2006

Ronaldinho professional career

I've been doing some research about Ronaldinho's professional career in soccer, since his early beginnings in Brazil, up until now with FC Barcelona. I would like to share with you his chronological history, with his participations in the soccer teams where he has made a terrific history. This is a briefing, mainly just for a quick review.

The Gremio years

Ronaldinho's career began in the youth team Gremio from Porto Alegre. Do you know who was his coach in Gremio?. Well, his coach was Luiz Felipe Scolari, who would some years later coach the Brazilian national team to win in the 2002 World Cup. His first senior appearance was in the 1998 Libertadores Cup, and his ability for goalscoring was quickly displayed, his career soon generating interest due to his phenomenal ball control and ability to score. This was followed by his introduction into the Brazilian national team in 1999.

Towards the end of his career at Gremio, in 2001, many clubs from all over the world, particularly teams from the Premier Soccer League in England, were eager to sign him as an attempt to attain a player who was both a "big name" and was also performing well. Despite several generous bids from Premiership teams (who would not have been able to sign him due to work permit restrictions) and several requests from Gremio, Ronaldinho signed a five-year contract with PSG, a popular French soccer team, to which he moved at the beginning of the following season.

In 2001 Ronaldinho left Gremio to play European soccer. Despite bids from much larger clubs, he opted to play for PSG. During his time at PSG, the manager, Luis Fernandez, claimed that Ronaldinho was too focused on the Parisian nightlife rather than on his soccer, and complained that his holidays in Brazil would always drag on and never end at the scheduled times.

After the 2002 World Cup, having shown his worth on the international scene, there was no shortage of interest from bigger clubs. In 2003, Ronaldinho made it clear he wanted to leave PSG after they failed to qualify for any European competitions. Ronaldinho's desire to leave set off a bidding war among the top European clubs (Manchester United and FC Barcelona the notable examples) for his services. The club that ended up winning the battle for his services was FC Barcelona.

The Barcelona years

Ronaldinho in 2004.
On July 19, 2003, FC Barcelona acquired Ronaldinho for about 30 million US$. Originally, Barcelona was trying to bring David Beckham to the club, but following his transfer to Real Madrid, Barcelona entered the running for Ronaldinho and beat Manchester United to his signature. It was thought that a failure on the part of the English and French clubs to agree on a fee was the reason Manchester United's deal fell through. Ronaldinho is also said to have signed with Barcelona instead of Manchester United because of his friendship with former Nike executive in Brazil and Barcelona's then vice-president in charge of sports, someone by the name of Sandro Rosell. Ronaldinho's signing with Barcelona follows in the footsteps of a number of other famous brazilian soccer players with the club, including Romario, Ronaldo and Rivaldo.

Barcelona quickly showcased the talents of their new striker in an exhibition match against AC Milan. The match took place in front of a crowd of 45,000 in Washington, D.C. Barcelona had a 1-0 lead through most of the first half, and they increased their lead to 2-0 when Ronaldinho scored in the 51st minute. Having received a short pass from Xavi, Ronaldinho fired a shot that spun around Fernando Redondo and into the net, landing him his first goal for the club.

After returning from injury in the first half of the campaign, Ronaldinho continued to justify his price tag by leading Barcelona to a second-place finish in Spanish soccer championship La Liga during the 2003/04 season. Along with several other great players like Samuel Eto'o, Deco, Xavi, Ludovic Giuly and Henrik Larsson, Ronaldinho comprises part of a strike force which helped bring the 2004/05 La Liga title for FC Barcelona. On December 20, 2004, Ronaldinho was named FIFA World Player of the Year ahead of Arsenal's Thierry Henry and AC Milan's Andriy Shevchenko. It was then that Barcelona rejected a US$ 114 million bid made for him by Chelsea F.C., according to Sandro Rosell.

In March 2005, Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea in the first knockout round. Ronaldinho scored a penalty kick and an impressive solo goal in the 4-2 loss at Stamford Bridge.

In June 2005, Rosell resigned from the Barcelona administration following a bust-up with Joan Laporta, and it was feared that his resignation would spell the end for Ronaldinho and Barcelona's association as well. With Ronaldinho's contract running only into 2008, he was offered a contract until 2014 that would net him US$ 160 million over those 9 years, which he rejected. Later that year in September, he signed a two-year extension of his original contract on with FC Barcelona. The new contract contains a minimum fee release clause that allows him to leave should a club make an offer to Barcelona of at least US$ 160 million for him.

On November 19, 2005, he scored two solo goals to help FC Barcelona to a 3–0 win over arch-rivals Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid. After he scored his second goal of the night, his team's third, a large part of the Madrid faithful gave him a standing ovation, a rare feat which had not occurred since Diego Maradona played for Barcelona in 1985. By the way, I remember very well this particular game against Real Madrid, I think it has been one of the best games and performances Ronaldinho has ever had in his career. All the soccer world was watching that game, all eyes were in Ronaldinho, and what a performance he made!

In September 2005, Ronaldinho was crowned FifPro Player of the year, an award voted for by his fellow professionals. He was also named in the FifPro team of the year alongside the likes of Zidane and Maldini. In November 2005 Ronaldinho was named as both the European Footballer of the Year and the best striker in the 2004-05 Champions League. In 2005, Ronaldinho became the third Brazilian to win the Ballon d'Or. On December 19, 2005, he was again named FIFA World Player of the Year with 956 points, more than three times the 306 points of Chelsea's Frank Lampard, who finished second in the poll, and the 190 points of Barcelona teammate Samuel Eto'o who finished third. He was chosen for the UEFA team of 2005 for the third time running in January 2006.

Ronaldinho celebrating the victory in 2005/2006 La Liga

On March 7, 2006, in the 2nd leg of the Champions League first knockout round at Nou Camp, Ronaldinho avenged Barcelona's defeat to Chelsea in the same competition the previous year, running past the Chelsea defence to score. Although the game ended 1-1, Barcelona progressed to the Champions League quarterfinal, in which they beat SL Benfica 2-0 at Nou Camp (Ronaldinho having scored the first goal by a penalty kick) after a 0-0 draw at the Estádio da Luz in Lisboa. In the first semi-final leg, against AC Milan in San Siro stadium, Ronaldinho once again proved his worth with a superb pass for the goal volleyed in by Ludovic Giuly, which brought Barcelona a 1-0 victory. The second leg game ended in a goalless draw despite a disallowed goal from Andriy Shevchenko in the 70th minute. The 0-0 result with AC Milan brought Barcelona to the 2006 Champions League Final in Paris against Arsenal F.C., who had not conceded a goal in ten Champions League matches, a competition record.

On May 3, 2006, Barcelona were crowned 2005/2006 La Liga champions after they beat Celta Vigo 1-0.

On May 17, 2006, Barcelona became European champions after defeating Arsenal 2-1 in the Champions League final. In this match Ronaldinho was kept relatively subdued and the goals came from Samuel Eto'o and Juliano Belletti, who were both assisted by Henrik Larsson. Ronaldinho finished the season with 25 goals in all competitions, his best goalscoring tally ever. It was rumoured on the 3rd of August, just a few days ago, that Ronaldinho might move to AC Milan, but Ronaldinho denied it.

It seems we will watch Ronaldinho playing with FC Barcelona over the next few years. However, you never know what could happen, everything is possible in this soccer world.

Well, I hope you could enjoy this quick overview of Ronaldinho's career, at least so far. I'm sure we will have to update this history in the next few years with more championships and great moments.

Aug 5, 2006

Ronaldinho hast not seen Zidane head butt!

I was taking a look at the latest news on FC Barcelona US Tour. If you are into the latest news I guess you already know that FC Barcelona will have 3 matches in the US in the next few days, beginning this Sunday. I wrote a post about this a few days ago, if you're interested you can take a look at it in this same website.

Ronaldinho is one of the most seeked players by the journalists of course, that's logic. Everyone seems to be very interested to interview Ronaldinho, everybody is looking forward to hear from him many things, specially after the World Cup, and many other things.

In a recent interview, did you know that Ronaldinho said that he is yet to see Zidane head butt?. Can you believe that?. It's been almost 1 month after the final game in Germany between France and Italy, and Zidane's head butt to Materazzi has been one of the most famous recent events in the World, and that's no joke. I wonder how many millions or even billions of people all over the world have seen this head butt on TV, I bet you already have. Chances of some person who has a little interest in sports or soccer in general are that has already seen this head butt somewhere in the news or TV.

Well, our friend Ronaldinho says he hasn't!. He knows about it of course, but he is yet to see it by himself. He even said I haven't seen anything. Wow, that is incredible, I just can't believe it. But if you think about it for a while, maybe Ronaldinho is telling the truth, it seems that after the World Cup he disconnected himself completely from the Soccer world, he wanted to forget as quickly as possible all about it, and it is not until now that we are watching him again in the news, he was like missing in the last few weeks.

I guess it won't take a long time for him to see by himself this famous head butt. I'm even thinking about sending him to his website or email the head butt video so he can watch. By the way, I found a video of this head butt with different angles, in this one you can almost read Materazzi's leaps, maybe you could even figure out by yourself what he exactly said to Zidane.

Video Ronaldinho

A new section in my blog will be Video Ronaldinho. Since this site is about soccer, with a lot of emphasis on Ronaldinho, the best soccer player in the World, I thought I should include this new section in my blog. Every once in a while I will share with you videos about Ronaldinho, showing of course some very great plays. I hope you can enjoy some of his magic, tricks, dribbles, he is really incredible with the soccer ball.

This video in particular is about some of his best plays with FC Barcelona in 2005. Many of these plays had to do with being nominated player of the year in 2005. I guess everybody was expecting Ronaldinho to make similar plays in the World Cup, but he just couldn't make it this time. However, he is back with FC Barcelona and I'm sure we will witness similar plays in the near future. In the meantime, enjoy yourself these great plays. To watch this video just press the play button, is the one with the little triangle.

Aug 3, 2006

Ronaldinho and Barcelona ready to play again

It's been many weeks without having soccer games, after the World Cup last month, there has been like a break for soccer fans all over the world. However, all of us soccer fans are looking forward to upcoming games in the next few days. I guess it's been enough for a break, I even have a feeling like I'm starving or something like you have that feeling too?. Just kidding!. We're all ready to move on.

And do you know who is ready to play in the next few days?. Maybe you already know, but in case you don't, I will tell is FC Barcelona and Ronaldinho who are ready!. Yes, FC Barcelona is ready to play 3 matches in the next few days, it's a tour they have in USA. The first game will be next Sunday in Los Angeles, they will be playing against a Mexican team, Chivas from Guadalajara, which is the most popular soccer team in Mexico. Next game will be on Wednesday, in Houston, against another Mexican team, this time is America. And by the end of next week, on Saturday Aug/12, they will be playing in New York, against the Red Bulls, it's a team from the Major League Soccer in the USA, their coach is Bruce Arena, former US team coach, this will be his debut with the Red Bulls, and what a rival he will have!

I guess everybody is ready and really eager to see Barcelona and Ronaldinho playing again. I bet we're all asking ourselves how Ronaldinho will perform..........will he be back and perform great as he is used to? ........will he make his famous soccer tricks and dribbles again?. Or the bad performance he had in the World Cup will affect him?............will his famous girlfriend Alexandra Paressant go with him to USA on this tour? (I don't think so, but you never know!). All eyes will be on Ronaldinho. And that's not all, we will see many other soccer super stars in action. Let's not forget that many other famous players are with Barcelona: Messi (Argentina, many people say he is supposed to be the best soccer player of the World in the next few years), Eto'o (best African player), Thuram (France), Zambrotta (World Champion with Italy), Rafael Marquez (best Mexican player), and many others................what a team!.

Make sure to turn on your TVs this weekend and see those games, remember, beginning next Sunday, or if you live near these cities (Los Angeles, Houston, New York) maybe you can go to the stadium and enjoy in person!

Aug 1, 2006

Is Ronaldinho's girlfriend for real?

I've been looking at the latest news on this topic over the last few days, many people is talking about it. A few days ago there were some news about Ronaldinho's girlfriend making some statements and confessions about things she did with Ronaldinho during the World Cup, I even wrote a post in this blog about this a few days ago. Ronaldinho and his girlfriend were supposed to be spending long nights at the Hotel in Germany not necessarilly sleeping and resting, and that became like an explanation and justification of why Ronaldinho didn't perform as expected in the World Cup.

Well, it seems that this story is only the start of many rumors. Some journalists have taken the time to investigate further about this, and some of them have come up with the question if this Ronaldinho girlfriend is for real? .........does she even exists?. Up until now, all we've heard about this story is only in the news, but so far we have not listened what Ronaldinho has to say about it in his own words.

These investigative journalists even have the doubt about Alexandra Paressant even exists with that that name a real name? she a real super model?. With all these questions and investigations, I guess we are having so many rumors, and I'm not sure what is true or what is a fiction anymore.

Maybe in the next few days we will have Ronaldinho speak for himself and clearing things out. If you think about it, it seems not logical that Ronaldinho didn´t take care of himself during the most important soccer tournament in the World spending sleepless hours with his girlfriend, and also playing video games at the same time, it's really not logical, is it?

Anyway, so far I guess is up to each one of us to believe or not in what whe hear about this. In the meantime, let's stay tuned to see what happens.