It’s sad but there’s a good chance that Ronaldinho will look back on his career and wonder what might have been had he not fallen out of love with football after leaving Barcelona in 2008.
The Brazilian was truly outstanding for two or three years at the Camp Nou and was rightfully regarded, by the majority of football fans as well as his peers, as the best player on the planet.
However, after Pep Guardiola judged him as a bad influence on the young and impressionable Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho was unceremoniously offloaded to AC Milan.
While he performed reasonably well for the Rossoneri during his first two seasons at the San Siro, by the third it was almost as if he no longer cared.
He would end up spending most of the final years of his career back in Brazil, before announcing his retirement at a press conference in New York last month.
Had he remained fully focused on football, instead of partying and carnival, who knows… perhaps we’d be speaking about Ronaldinho in the same breath as Pele and Diego Maradona.
And while history will still remember him as a fabulous talent - a true genius with the ball - he doesn’t come close to the all-time greats.
But does Ronaldinho, a month into life as a former professional, have any regrets from his career?
Ronaldinho wishes he'd played more with Messi
The only one at the moment, the South American claims, is that he didn’t get longer to play alongside Lionel Messi.
Messi looked up to Ronaldinho like a big brother after forcing his way into Barcelona’s first team around 2005. The Argentine will forever be grateful for the way he was treated by the Brazilian and, for a couple of seasons, they had a pretty good on-pitch relationship too.
“I’ve achieved everything I wanted to and I’m grateful for that,” Ronaldinho was quoted as saying by Gulf News.
“Of course, I would have loved to have played more with Messi, he’s a great player and I’m very glad to have helped him at the beginning of his career with the assistance of his first goal.
“Having seen him go on to become such a great player, it would have been great to have played more with him, but at that time my period at Barca was over and it was time for me to move to achieve new things and set new objectives, so the time had come for me to leave.”
Ronaldinho doesn't regret Barcelona departure
Asked if he regretted the manner of his Barcelona departure, Ronaldinho continued: “No, not at all.”
However, he also admitted that his reputation as a party animal was not undeserved.
Ronaldinho: Messi is the best
“Messi is a great player and the Argentina national team is a great team, I believe they have a real chance of winning the next World Cup,” Ronaldinho added.
“He demonstrates that he’s the best every day. Week-in-week-out he keeps playing at such a level that demonstrates how good he really is, so there’s no real need for him to show anymore at the World Cup. But as my friend I always wish him the best as I do all of my friends.”
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