Seven years since Ronaldinho brought Bernabeu to its feet

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Seven years on from Ronaldinho's iconic Bernabeu display, the Brazil superstar showed this weekend he's still got it.

The 19th November 2005 will always be remembered as the day Ronaldinho single-handedly dismantled Real Madrid, earning applause from a fiercely partisan Bernabeu crowd, and sending him well on his way to the Ballon d'Or award.

It was a scarcely believable individual performance. In the age of Lionel Messi the Nou Camp crowd has become spoiled by such acts of unique brilliance, but at this stage the Barca bandwagon was not quite as domineering.

From 1999 to 2005, the Catalan club one La Liga just once, six months prior to Ronaldinho's Bernabeu expose.

Real Madrid were still Spain's dominant side, despite the emergence of Valencia, and despite Barcelona's La Liga victory in 2004-05, the side from the Spanish capital still expected to knock Barca back off the top.

But Frank Rijkaard's squad marched into enemy territory, chests puffed out, and embarrassed their opponents in memorable fashion.

Ronaldinho's overall performance that day was sensational, but his two goals were mind-altering. Nobody was doing what Ronaldinho was doing on a football pitch.

Picking the ball up inside his own half he turned, and like a shark, homed in on his prey. He was direct, effectively charging at the Real Madrid defence like a hulking bull, but then, when faced with an opponent, the physical front retreated, and with the grace of a ballerina, Ronaldinho danced around a weary defender, not once but twice, faced up to Iker Casillas and whipped the ball into the near corner.

15 minutes later he repeated the trick, and Barcelona were 3-0 up - Samuel Eto'o had opened the scoring in the 15th minute.

A shell-shocked Real Madrid crowd went to reach for the white flag, but thought better of it. Their team were poor, but their opponents were brilliant, and a humbled Bernabeu sportingly applauded their fiercest foes.

In years previous, Madrid were used to inflicting such performances on others - but the light on the Galacticos lamp was flickering, although Vanderlei Luxemburgo could still call on Roberto Carlos, David Beckham, Raul, Robinho, Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and Iker Casillas.

Unfortunately, Barcelona had a star to match, and the Brazilian was at the peak of his powers that night. But seven years on, a 32-year-old Ronaldinho has demonstrated he's still got it.

Playing for Atletico Miniero in the Brazilian first division, the former-Milan legend popped up with a last-gasp stoppage time equaliser.

In fact, his form in Brazil has been so good that some have tipped him for a recall to the national team. With the World Cup two years away, such reports seem to be tinged with a nostalgic longing, and few expect the 2005 Ballon d'Or winner to get anywhere near Mano Menezes' squad.

But a Neymar and Ronaldinho combination? That would be something special.

The Santos star has been earmarked as a possible Barcelona transfer target, and although he insists he's going nowhere until 2014, few would bet against the next Brazil star packing his bags and setting off for the Nou Camp.

Neymar has already shown he's capable of dazzling runs to match Ronaldinho in his pomp, abet he's only done so in the Brazilian league so far.

So a chance to play alongside Leo Messi? A chance to follow in Ronaldinho's footsteps. Now that would be something special.

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