Giant on the move
A Ronaldinho revival? Don’t speak too soon
Ronaldinho’s two-goal performance against New Zealand in Sunday’s Olympic Games has already been hailed as some sort of revival after his miserable last season with Barcelona.
The former World Player of the Year showed flashes of his best form in the 5-0 win with plenty of cheeky flicks, shimmies and stepovers. And, of course, he grinned.
“This was a reward for everything which I have done and for all the people who believed in me and helped me to start playing again,” he told Brazilian media.
But the performance needs to be put into context.
The Olympic soccer tournament is an under-23 competition and Ronaldinho is competing as one of the three permitted overage players per team.
Brazil’s opponents qualified from a group in which Fiji were their strongest opponents. They have only three professionals in their 18-man squad. Most of the other players are university students who play football for fun.
Ronaldinho has just signed for AC Milan. He will play in arguably the world’s most unforgiving league and is going to have to fight hard just to get into the team every week.
There are some much tougher battles ahead and it remains to be seen whether he has the motivation to return to his best.
Any talk of a Ronaldinho revival is way too premature, isn’t it?