Friday afternoon question: Will Ronaldinho leave Barcelona?

March 29, 2008

Ronaldo de Assís Moreira AKA RonaldinhoIs Ronaldinho about to become the latest player to leave the Nou Camp by the back door?

Marca and the rest of the Madrid-based media seem convinced of it, meaning we could be about to see the former World Player of the Year following the well trodden path of such luminaries as Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Romario, Juan Roman Riquelme, Luis Figo, Hristo Stoichkov, Bernd Schuster and Maradona.

All of these players underwent the transformation from Nou Camp idol to persona non grata in a remarkably short space of time.

Maradona left for Napoli after a traumatic two-year spell at the club marked by a bout of hepatitis, a horrendous tackle by Athletic Bilbao defender Andoni Goikoetxea, rumours of drug taking and a mass brawl after the final of the King’s Cup.

Schuster was ousted after walking out following the team’s defeat in the 1986 European Cup and a subsequent legal wrangle with the club. Romario and Stoichkov were not on speaking terms with then coach Johan Cruyff when they left the club.

Ronaldo departed at the peak of his powers after just one glorious season with the Catalans in which he racked up 34 goals in 37 matches, deciding that he would get better treatment at Inter Milan.

Luis Figo, of course, famously defected to Real Madrid after he was offered a more succulent deal by presidential candidate Florentino Perez, while Rivaldo was revered for the wonderful hat-trick that put Barca in the Champions League only to be ushered out of the side door a year later.

Other top Barcelona players such as Gary Lineker, Steve Archibald, Ivan de la Peña and Patrick Kluivert could all have left under better circumstances. Ronaldinho’s career at Barcelona appears to be following a depressingly familiar line.

Having guided Barcelona to two league titles and victory in the Champions League in his first three seasons at the club he is now being accused of failing to pull his weight.

Fitness problems, no-shows at training, a series of below-par performances on the pitch and rumours about late nights have all served to tarnish his reputation. Some of the local media even say that Barca will be prepared to let him leave on a free transfer at the end of the season, while the latest stories suggest he could exercise FIFA’s article 17 and buy himself out of the contract for a song.

It is hard to believe that only two seasons ago he was the most sought-after player on the planet. What is it about Barcelona’s tendency to devour its own sons?

We asked at the start of this season whether it was time Barcelona let Ronadinho go, and the consensus was that it would be too great a loss for the club. I wonder how many people have changed their minds.

Simon Baskett, Madrid

PHOTO: Ronaldinho reacts during the Atletico Madrid-Barcelona match in Madrid, March 1. REUTERS/Susana Vera


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He’s got so bad that the Italian media have pretty much stopped talking about him coming to Milan. To be honest I can’t see him fitting in at Chelsea either so where’s left?
Shakhtar Donetsk have got the money…

Posted by Mark Meadows | Report as abusive

If he does go, I bet Barcelona fans are terrified he’ll jump ship to Real Madrid. I wonder if there’s a clause in his contracy to stop that.
Looking further afield, I suppose Man U don’t really need him any more, but maybe Liverpool would take a punt.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

I am Real Madrid fans, we don’t need him. i would prefer AC MILAN than any other clubs cause it suited him.

Posted by Rio | Report as abusive

He’ll go to the MLS!

Posted by Five Times | Report as abusive

He’s going to Manchester City – trust me

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive

First of all I wish to thank the author for this high quality article. The best I’ve read on the whole issue sofar. I’m a big fan of Ronaldinho and I think he should and will leave for his own best.

Posted by Ernie | Report as abusive

I would take him at “The Arsenal”. The prof. would teach him how to be a star again, to see him rekindle and set the Emrates on fire would be a dream. He has 3 or 4 good years left in him. I needs to be somewhere that he has to prove something, this guy is too good to appear to fall off so bad. It’s certainly mental and mr. wenger can fix that.

Posted by Paka | Report as abusive

The only question for me is where he will go.

Posted by Red Devil | Report as abusive

trust me ronaldinho will go to english league and join either arsenal or man u or chelsea but not to italian league or spanish league.

i am ronaldinho’s causin.

Posted by ronaldinhosccr | Report as abusive

i think Barca will loose if they let roni out, barca is too weak with out roni even it is very obvious that roni is not in his good shap and fitness but still he have the charm and effect when he is arround specially when mesi and etto is there too,
but i am not with these people who said that barca has no need for roni it is a big lie and we will see what the future will lead to?

Posted by mohamed | Report as abusive

to mr mark he is still one of the best ,
shakbtak is not the team for roni and really i hope he will go out from barca and conme to it with another team to defeat them on their stadium and let us see what they will say after that

Posted by mohamed | Report as abusive

I think that if he does leave, he’ll probably jump from another team to real madrid. Maybe not quick but will eventually end up there one way or another.

Posted by mark | Report as abusive

I love Ronnie and Barca are boring when he’s not playing. He should use the get out the clause, leave now and come to England where he would be appreciated.

Posted by juliann | Report as abusive

Ronaldinho was and still the best player in the world… till now he has his spectaculer touch that no player has this talent. I am Barcelona fan, but honastly they are really bad this season because they are lacking a player such him and Messi and they should change frank Rijkaard because his time is over …..

Posted by Pierre | Report as abusive

Its sad to see him falling off like this. I’m a big Madrid fan, but I also have respect for this guy. I’m telling you that Madrid is usually a club to get well known players but not even Madrid is interested in this guy anymore. I think he is done and perhaps he should settle with a med table team in Italy or England cus no big clubs want him unless they are getting a real good deal from Barca and can use him as a sub at times.
Hala MaDRID!

Posted by Robbi | Report as abusive

ronni i is my hero and is the best he should stay at barca and and get a good maniger if not he should go to man u please daont leve ronni barca love you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by finn slade | Report as abusive

To ”Ronnie’s causin” and everyone else: Ronnie has already let his friends know that barca is a family to him and would never sign to an English team,as the players there behave badly towards him.

Posted by dahlia | Report as abusive

Great players like Ronaldinho do not lose their skills overnight or over a season. At 28-year-old he is in his athletic prime. This happens in all professional sports. A player will get stale with one team, move to another, and begin to shine again. Usually the problem is not that the player has lost his skills — usually he is just unhappy. Ronaldinho is not only great — he will probably get even more brilliant. Just give him a new team and a fresh start and soccer fans will be worshipping him again.

Posted by Jose | Report as abusive

Roni, did not lose his skills overnight or over a season. Roni and Kaka are players in a different league.
You guys need to have more knowledge about our culture before judging the best player in this planet. For us Futebol is first an art and we play it at the best when we have fun and the environment is good. Now Roni has some issues with the president and the team Barca and this is the reason we do not see his best performance. Rivaldo, Maradonna, Romario, Figo, etc. etc. they all had the same problem with this club. Having said that, Who’s problem is it now? this is the question I want to leave you with.

Posted by Nima King | Report as abusive

“The last time Ronaldinho will celebrate with his team mates
In a shock report from Barcelona F.C. yesterday night Joan La Porta in a press conference said “We have been in contact with Fenerbahçe over the last few days over the possiblity of Ronaldinho moving to Turkey. A sum of €56 million (Euros), half to be paid after teh World Cup, and the other half in 2 installments over the next two seasons. It is unfortunate that Ronaldinho has to move, but he has been struggling to fit in with other players regretably.”

This press conference held yesterday is propably the biggest shock in the footballing world to date, especially on the eve of the World Cup. Ronaldinho, having arrived at Germany for the World Cup with the 23 man squad, will be contacted by Fenerbahçe agents to sign on the dotted line.

He is expected to sign a 5 year contract with a supposed €150,000 (Euros) a week in wages, and a big signing on bonus. The club is also accepted to pay for his image rights which won”

From an american news paper website

Posted by Tayfun | Report as abusive

ur articles are just amazin!!! keep em comin

Posted by zam zam | Report as abusive

Tayfun – erm, the World Cup in Germany was two years ago. Are the Americans really that far behind? *snigger*

Posted by Rolls Eyes | Report as abusive

they alaways say that but it would be nice if he dose.
iam arsenal fan when thirrey henry leave i was sook but it would be nice if came to arsenal
dylan from isle of sheppey kent
age 13

Posted by DYLAN | Report as abusive

good come to leeds fc i can dream it come on ron what are you waiting four christams or what

Posted by DYLAN | Report as abusive

i will be the most on happy person to see ronaldinho leaving barclona,because it a great thing of joy for me seeing ronaldno playing along side with messi and etoo.The absence of ronaldinho now for some matches is affecting barca and i must confess,if continues like thay,i dont see barco winning and league again and i will lose my confidence in barca.pls if there is any problem,i coach rychard to settle it.pls barca do me a favour by winning the champions league.

Posted by sebastian inogbo | Report as abusive

I hope he stays. He’s a great player and still has a place for Barcelona. I don’t think he’d be so successful in England as in Spain.

Posted by Luc | Report as abusive

If Ronaldinho does leave, I think either AC Milan or Arsenal would be a good fit. Arsenal is currently being criticized for not beefing up their team to give them more depth and with how they have struggled since loosing Eduardo, I would have to agree. Arsenal would be my bet and I’m sure a welcomed addition to the squad, since Arsenal is so hungry.

Posted by Rick | Report as abusive

He is gone and will be playing for Fenerbahce. This deal has already been cut, and the Italian media, Catalans and Fenerbahce CEO are all very happy from this deal including Ronaldinho himself.

Posted by Alan Kay | Report as abusive

He has just been ruled out for the rest of the season through injury.. has he played his last game for Barca and will he miss a potential Champions League final?

Posted by Mark Meadows | Report as abusive

It’s funny, but in the pre-match press conference at Schalke this week a journalist asked Rijkaard if it was true Ronaldinho would not play again for Barcelona. The rumour was that Rijkaard, or someone else at the club, had had enough. I guess this injury makes it more likely we won’t see him again in a Barcelona shirt, which is a sad thought.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

please to barca let our star leave and find a good team that will worm welcome him.But i would like him to come down to england for man-u or asernal.

Posted by nathi | Report as abusive

I think ronaldinho is going to play for Al-Faysali FC a Jordanian team very well known to many people somewhere in the world …:-)

Posted by Marhaba | Report as abusive

I am a huge barca fan and hate to say it but roni needs to leave barca so he can shine somewhere else.I think he will go to the english premire league hopefully to chelsea or aresenel.He still has alot in him and needs a new team to prove it.

Posted by chris | Report as abusive

Nicely written article. I think the problem that Barca is having stems froms above. I think Laporta and Rijkaard need to shift out to allow for new guidance. Ronnie is following the path of Ronaldo which we already know how that path ends. It is a huge dissappointment to see such a key player both physically and emotionally (his effect on the fans and the team) transform from a world player of the year to a lazy bench rider. Ronnies problem is mental, when you watch him play now its like he has no confidence in his own skill. I dont want to see him leave Barca, however would it be so bad to the teams performance? They have wasted key opportunities just as they did last season and now are in 3rd behind villareal and those suckers real madrid (cant stand em). Unfortunately time passes and change takes place…I just wish i could roll back the clock to the days of the barca happy family.

Posted by Aaron | Report as abusive

I am very upset to say that roni is leaving Barca because i am a fan of roni in barca shirt …….but he has to leave……….I want him to join Arsenal!!!!!!!

Posted by Hassan Mustafa | Report as abusive

It’s amazing to hear the sentimental comments about “Roni”. I think Barca are best to oust him; NOW! The old Liverpool under Shanks & Paisley knew when to release a player, normally when he appeared to be at his peak. It’s no different with Ronaldhino. Personally, I’m looking forward to see what ridiculous coach decides he’s the “must have” player. He’ll never recapture the magic he said 2-3 seasons ago. Like Shevchenko, Figo, Rivaldo & all those so called world class players before him, they’ve won & earnt so much that their appetite for success has long past. Buy Roni at your peril!

Posted by Mark Canning | Report as abusive

Ronaldihno last days on Fc Barcelona!
If you read the news you know Ronni plays the last days on Spanish ground.
No Real Madrid,No to the Uk but to Italy thats a fact.
La porta say he likes if Ronaldihno plays to the end of this league 2008,playing the last
games and the Champions league with Manchester.
For ronni the last posibility to play the best moments and stop with love and respect!
Thanks Ronaldihno for all you didd for us!
Fc Barcelona comunity Barca4ever

Posted by Barcafreak | Report as abusive

Ronaldinho should stay, but if leaves he should go to Ac milan. MLS and Premier league suck.

Posted by jose | Report as abusive

As long as Cruyff continues to make the decisions at Barcelona, none of this matters a jot.

Next season Barça will again win nothing, because Cruyff insists on having “Pep” Guardiola as coach. (Remember, you read it here first.)

Why does Cruyff want him? Because he´ll do whatever his Dutch master tells him to do! Something which, incredibly enough, the elected President Joan Laporta admitted to doing himself, in a local media interview about 2 months ago.

Imagine if Pat Crerand were still calling the shots at Old Trafford.

You couldn´t make it up, could you?

Posted by F E mattimoe | Report as abusive

we love roni we cant do without him although is the bosat type but we still miss him

Posted by tobi oseni | Report as abusive

“Fenerbahce has signed Ronaldinho for 33M Euro” said by Ac Milan CEO Adriano Galliani…

Estimated wage for Ronaldinho is around 9M Euro per year. Total cost for 5 year contract as total of 78M Euro.


Posted by Kernell | Report as abusive

How did you get this information?

Posted by James | Report as abusive


How do you know that? Inter are also interested in Ronnie

Posted by aliii | Report as abusive

Ronaldinho has been my favourite player. Since Lionel Messi has arrived, that has make it two players on Barcelona my favourite. But from Ronaldinho has stop playing the team has been dis-functional. I for one would want Ronaldinho back on the team.

Posted by Keron Hunter | Report as abusive

He is great player.I think his single handed effort has lifted up the spirit of Barcelona Football Club from a very poor condition three years back.Without his effort Barca would nt have won a single title. Barca is not showing proper gratitude to him

Posted by Sandeep | Report as abusive

Its a new year,its liga time,time to start again!
Forget Ronaldihno and the rest who dont playing anymore
on Camp Nou Barcelona!
Its barca4ever time, the start of the live soccer world.
online,starting live 31 august 2008 !

Posted by Barcafreak | Report as abusive

Trust me Ronaldinho will join Arsenal fc INSHAALLAH

Posted by Garfill | Report as abusive