Ronaldinho pens letter to his 8-year-old self

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If you've ever wondered what a very young Ronaldinho would tell Lionel Messi, wonder no more. 

That's because the Brazilian legend has now penned a letter to his eight-year-old self. Indeed, as per Sky Sports, writing on the Players' Tribune, the former Barcelona star has reflected on his career and outlined exactly what he would tell Messi. 

A remarkable stint at the Camp Nou between 2003 and 2008 helped Ronaldinho become a Barcelona icon, but, unsurprisingly, he has since been surpassed by Messi. 

Messi has broken several records in Catalonia and has racked up as many as five Ballon d'Or awards. 

But Ronaldinho's influence on Messi's career must not be underestimated. Messi may well have always been destined for success, but Ronaldinho unquestionably guided him throughout his early years on the first-team scene. 

Ronaldinho advice 

Now, though, on reflection, how would Ronaldinho approach Messi and what advice would he give him? 

Well, as you can see in this letter penned to his youthful self, Ronaldinho has revealed the advice he would give to Messi. 

At Barcelona, you'll hear about this kid on the youth team. He wears number 10 like you. He's small like you. He plays with the ball like you. You and your teammates will go watch him play for Barcelona's youth squad, and at that moment you'll know he's going to be more than a great footballer. The kid is different. His name is Leo Messi.

You'll tell the coaches to bring him up to play with you on the senior side. When he arrives, the Barcelona players will be talking about him like the Brazilian players were talking about you.

I want you to give him one piece of advice.

Tell him, "'Play with happiness. Play free. Just play with the ball."

Even when you are gone, the free style will live on in Barcelona through Messi.

See Ronaldinho's full letter to his eight-year-old self here

Is Messi the greatest player of all-time? Have your say below! 

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