In terms of pure natural footballing talent, Ronaldinho might be the best player we’ve ever seen.
It’s a joke how good the Brazilian was at his peak. There’s nothing he couldn’t do with a football at his feet.
He would regularly embarrass top-level opponents with his extensive array of fancy flicks and tricks but, crucially, also had bags of end product.
During his unforgettable five-year spell with Barcelona, Ronaldinho was unquestionably the world’s most exciting footballer.
Winner of the 2005 Ballon d’Or award, the only reason Ronaldinho isn’t always spoken about in the same breath as Pele, Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is due to his lack of longevity.
He seemed to fall out of love with football during the latter years of his career and could have achieved even more had he not lost the hunger that saw him reach the top of his profession.
Ronaldinho stole the show in Indian Premier Futsal League
Despite that, Ronaldinho continued to entertain football fans with his extraordinary abilities up until the day he called time on his professional career.
And in 2016, one year after leaving his final club Fluminense, Ronaldinho showed that class is permanent during the inaugural Indian Premier Futsal League.
The Brazilian icon turned out for Goa and faced a Bengaluru side led by Manchester United legend Paul Scholes which also featured former Argentina international Hernan Crespo.
Ronaldinho was ‘asleep in his car’ before kick-off
Providing commentary on the match was Sam Matterface, now ITV’s lead football commentator, who tells a fantastic story about Ronaldinho’s teammates looking for him shortly before kick-off… only to find him asleep in his car!
“We went to India to do this Premier Futsal tournament – it was absolutely bonkers,” Matterface told talkSPORT in 2021.
“Oh my word… well he only played one game. They paid him a huge amount of money to come over and play a certain number of minutes over the course of group games. Cafu took over him then – not a bad replacement!
“He came and played for one game, scored five goals – went viral, like literally went viral – then went off… that was it. He was done.
“I think he stayed for one of the party nights – in fact I’m pretty sure he stayed for one of the party nights.
“But to get him to play that game everyone was panicking, because he was nowhere to be seen. It wasn’t the slickest and most organised event – put it that way.
“So where was Ronaldinho? Everyone was in the dressing room asking where he was. Well, he was in a car in a car park having a nap.
“Someone knocked on the window asking him, ‘can you come in?’
“He was literally in his kit, walked out of the car, into the arena, scored five goals, went off – that was it. It was unbelievable. He was absolutely different class. It was a wonderful tournament.”
Video: Ronaldinho’s futsal masterclass vs Team Scholes
And you can watch Ronaldinho’s brilliant performance from that game here:
Imagine rocking up to a 5-a-side game and Ronaldinho is there! 🤩🇧🇷— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) June 29, 2022
Throwback to when the footballing icon showed up to the Indian Premier Futsal tournament… and scored 𝐅𝐈𝐕𝐄 goals! 🔥pic.twitter.com/1LpscRxHPX
He’d only just woken up from a nap and was still the best player on the futsal court.
What a footballer. What a man.
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