Ronaldinho to Milan — a perfect fit or a rescue mission too far?

April 12, 2008

Ronaldinho sitsA Ronaldinho move to AC Milan now just seems to be a matter of time, after the club and the player’s agent both announced that personal terms have been agreed.

“There is a general agreement with the player,” Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani said on Saturday. “Now a deal has to be reached with Barcelona. Give us time.”

When we last discussed this on the blog, the general feeling seemed to be that he should leave Barcelona asap. Whatever the reasons, it is a long time since the Brazilian has played consistently well for Barca and if a move elsewhere can help him rediscover the effortless brilliance of old, everyone who loves football will be happy.

Assuming the move goes ahead — and sorting out a deal between the two clubs may not be straightforward — the question remains whether Milan is the best place for him.

When Ronaldinho joined Barcelona he was basically on a rescue mission for the Catalan club, who had fallen so far behind Real Madrid that it was getting embarrassing.

It’s easy to forget now, but for the first few months at the Nou Camp he was not entirely successful. Sure, he showed more than a few flashes of brilliance, and he certainly brought the club the touch of glamour they so desired, but it was only when Edgar Davids came in mid-season that the team’s fortunes revived.

The arrival of the Dutchman seemed to relieve a bit of the weight from Ronaldinho’s shoulders and by the end of that season few people had any doubts that they were watching the world’s best player.

Milan are not in such bad shape as Barcelona were in 2003 but unquestionably they are no longer top dog in Italy. If Ronaldinho does go there, will the pressure to lead the revival prove too much for him? Or is it just the sort of challenge he needs? Give us your thoughts in the comments. 

PHOTO: Ronaldinho sits on the pitch during Barcelona’s Champions League game against Celtic at the Nou Camp, March 4, 2008. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino


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His brother and agent has just been on Italian TV talking a bizarre mix of Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. From what I could glean Milan are the only club he has talked to so speculation about Inter and Man City (!)also being in the running seems wide of the mark. He didnt mention Ronaldinho buying out the end of his contract under this odd new law so it may drag on a bit as Barca and Milan barter over a fee.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

The move might prove to help his game, but I can not picture the Gaucho playing in any other team then the blaugrana. If he could find a way to find his rhythm again at the Nou Camp
I will be overjoyed – this does seem a bit far fetched however.

Posted by Stephan | Report as abusive

I think moving on to other club is all he needs a this critical moment of his career. He already done so much in Barcelona and now the atmosphere there is unquestionably too heavy to breath. It is my personal stand that he can’t come back to be the footballer once he was playing in Barcelona, and a drastically changing of environment’s gonna be the best thing to improve his form. Besides all these things, it’s going to be of great enthusiasm to watch Ronaldinho playing alongside Kaká and Pato, forming in Milan the foward lines of the Brazilian National team itself. I hope he gets back in form next season.

Posted by Miguel Ângelo | Report as abusive

just an aside…Will Ronaldinho be happy playing in the UEFA Cup next season? Milan lost 3-2 at Juve last night and it looks highly unlikely they will finish in a Champions League spot. Maybe the saga is not all over yet

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

A move away from Barcelona is undoubtedly the best thing for Ronaldinho and for FC Barcelona right now. The president clung on to him in the summer in the vain hope that he would rediscover his form. In hindsight, that was a mistake – but not one that he should be criticised for. Anyone who loves football can surely understand the desire to hope that we might see Ronnie light up the Camp Nou in the way that he once did.

That hasn’t happened and it seems all possible avenues have been exhausted: time to move on. Thank you Ronnie and Adios. We’ll always have Paris.

My question is: is this the right move for Milan. I have to be honest, I haven’t seen that much of them this season, but how will he fit in alongside Kaka. The pair never seem to work form any kind of synthesis in the Brazilian side – will it be any different in Italy?

Posted by La Liga Review | Report as abusive

I like Ronnie, but he appears one of the least committed, least ambitious footballers playing at the highest level. So many Brazilian footballers don;t seem to comprehend how short their professional lives can be if they do not apply themselves. He doesn’t appear to be particularly intelligent and I have my doubts whether or not the infamously strict Milanello training regime will suit him. But he would do well to ally himself with the two other big Brazil stars at Milan (Pato and Kaka) as it will prolong his own international career (if he strikes a good note with them).

Some interesting footie writing here:

Posted by Paolo | Report as abusive

I think a move from barcelona is very badly needed for him; he can’t play in a club with so much negativity surrounding him. Milan has a more relaxed atmosphere and he’ll enjoy being with his brazilian buddies. I’m sure Ancelotti will find a way to fit Kaka and dinho together in a way that Dunga couldn’t. Even if Milan don’t qualify for CL, it’d still be a welcome change in environment for him. Forza Milan!!

Posted by forza milan | Report as abusive

The latest is Inter are mulling a move for him. His agent seems to have closer ties with Milan but at the moment Inter are heading for the scudetto and the Champions League while Milan are on course for the UEFA Cup…

Posted by Mark Meadows | Report as abusive

i think Ronaldinho is going to do really good with Milan. Specially because he knows some of the great players Milan has for example: kaka, cafu, ronaldo, and pato. So Ronaldinho is going to be really excited to play there. He is going to get his game back. He just doesn’t feel comfortable and ready to play with Barca. So he just needs sometime to relax,.

Posted by junior | Report as abusive

Ronnie needs a move away from Barcelona, no matter where the final destination may be.
I’m glad that the rumours surrounding a possible switch to Man City seem unfounded as a player of his stature – no offence to City – needs to be playing competitive football at the highest level, club wise, that being Europe.
I have heard some stories recently remarking that the player has decided to stop turning up to training. If these reports are true, Ronaldinho needs to pull his socks up and dedicate himself to the football.
Perhaps a move to Milan will reignite the spirit we all used to love – well apart from that one time in Japan way back when!

Posted by John Ford | Report as abusive

Somehow, due to his work ethics, I suspect he will only put in average performances.

Posted by Five Times | Report as abusive

Got to agree with you Five Times. Ronaldinho’s work rate – or lack of it – cannot be overstated enough.
I’ve read reports from a number of websites and newspapers circulating a figure in the region of €47 million for the Brazilian which for me is inflated for a player past his peak and past it in terms of determination.
I think that any club worth their salt should stay well clear of this individual.

Posted by John Ford | Report as abusive

i can see him going to real madrid. their finances are in disarray, team is playing badly and still at the top of the league by 6 whole points (goodness me! L6 D4… and top by 6 points..) ronaldhinio wil give real the iconic figure they need to sell tshrts and bring in the gate numbers.

Posted by Osborn | Report as abusive

i think it is best 4 dinho 2 go 2 least playing along side pato, and kaka will improve his game.d fact is dat he does not have passion 4 barcelona fc anymore

Posted by oladipupo simeon | Report as abusive

I don’t think Ronaldinho is what Milan needs right now. Milan must think to rejuvenate the defense. Plus, the “marketing royal treatment” of Ronaldinho might cause some tension in the dressing room.

Pato, Kaka, and Paloschi are the future of Milan.

Ronaldinho might not even fit in INTER either. Bottom line, if it comes to choose. I will think on the “team performance,” then, in individual marketing performance. 1/latest–italian-serie-a-transfers-news. aspx

Posted by Anna Italia | Report as abusive