Before Lionel Messi was dominating football in a Barcelona shirt, there was Ronaldinho.
The Brazilian superstar was the catalyst for the Blaugrana reclaiming their place at the top of world football after several poor years under Louis van Gaal.
He entertained many and inspired a generation but now, he has called time on one of the finest careers the sport has ever seen.
Ronaldinho and Messi played for a brief time together and it led to the Brazilian producing one of the best quotes ever after being awarded the Ballon d'Or.
“This award says I’m the best player in the world, but I’m not even the best player at Barcelona," he said.
“Leo Messi reminds me more of Maradona, both left-footed and short, Messi is the best player in the world, along with Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo.
"For us it is not a surprise. Since he began to come and train with us and we knew we would go down this path. Someday I will explain that I was at the birth of one of the footballing greats: Leo Messi."
Brilliant and it was only fitting that the Argentine superstar - who lived up to his lofty expectations - sent him a lovely message after his official retirement.
The translated version reads: "As I always said, I learned a lot by your side. I will always be grateful to you for how easy it was that you did everything to me when I got to the dressing room.
"I was lucky to share many things with you and I am very happy because, in addition to a phenomenon with the ball, you are a very great person and that is the most important thing. Even if you decide to leave, football will never forget your smile. All the best, Ronnie."
What a footballing gentleman.
Ronaldinho's brother and agent Roberto Assis has confirmed that he will take part in a number of tribute events across the world.
"He has stopped, it is ended," Assis said.
"We will do various events in Brazil, Europe and Asia and, of course, we are arranging something with the Brazilian team as well."
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