When you think of Brazilian football, there’s one name that immediately springs to mind: Ronaldinho. The man who epitomized Samba style on the pitch and wowed crowds with his mesmerizing skills. In this article, we take a look at five of Ronaldinho’s most iconic moments in football.
Fooling David Seaman
The 2002 World Cup quarterfinal between Brazil and England was set to be a classic clash. The Three Lions were stacked with superstar players and were among the favorites to win the tournament. However, they had no answer for Ronaldinho’s brilliance. The Brazilian maestro scored an incredible goal from 38 yards out, catching England goalkeeper David Seaman off guard. It was a shot that many consider to be a mishit, but it put Brazil 2-1 ahead and inspired them to victory. This moment of genius launched Ronaldinho to new heights of stardom and helped Brazil lift the World Cup that year.
Humbles Petr Cech
Ronaldinho had a habit of fooling the best players in the game, and another instance of his trickery came in the 2004/05 Champions League campaign. Barcelona traveled to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge with a 2-1 aggregate, and although they lost the return fixture and the tie, Ronaldinho’s goal will always be remembered. He brought Barcelona back into the game with a stunning strike to make it 3-1. However, it was his second goal that left everyone floored, including goalkeeper Petr Cech. Ronaldinho received the ball on the edge of the 30-yard box and instead of returning the ball to the Spaniard, he dummied and placed the ball in the bottom left corner with no backlift at all. It was a display of class and skill that few could match.
Triple Sombrero vs Athletic Bilbao
Ronaldinho was a master of executing skills to perfection. Perhaps his most iconic skill was the triple sombrero against Athletic Bilbao. He took the ball at the halfway line and performed this trick, juggling the ball past the defender on one side and flipping the ball over his head to continue the attacking move. When faced with the other defender, he repeated the same feat without the ball even touching the grass! Although the move didn’t result in a goal, it is one of the many highlight reels that the Brazil legend has given throughout the course of his career.
That Performance at the Bernabeu
It’s not often that a Barcelona player earns a standing ovation from the Bernabeu, but Ronaldinho achieved exactly that. In a league game, he tormented the then 20-year-old Sergio Ramos throughout his time on the pitch. The climax of his performance came with an immaculate run down the left, beating Ramos on the outside and then Ivan Helguera on the inside, finally slotting it past Casillas to leave the whole crowd spellbound. Ronaldinho scored another before going off to a huge section of the Bernabeu crowd applauding the genius of the man.
The crossbar challenge is a popular trick among football players today, but did you know that Ronaldinho was the founding father of it? In a YouTube video, said to be the first ever video on the platform to reach a million views, Ronaldinho juggles the ball for a moment, hits it on the volley as it bounces off the crossbar and back onto his chest. Remarkably, he performed the trick again to show that it wasn’t a fluke. It’s just another example of the sheer magic that Ronaldinho could conjure up on the football pitch.
Ronaldinho was a player who lived and breathed football, and he was gifted with a unique talent that few players possess. His ability to manipulate the ball and make it dance to his tune was something that left fans and opponents alike in awe. In his prime, Ronaldinho was arguably the best player in the world, and his legacy in the game is cemented forever. While he may have had his ups and downs off the pitch, his contributions to the game will never be forgotten. Ronaldinho was a true magician with the ball at his feet, and his performances will be remembered for generations to come.