Is Ronaldinho more trouble than he’s worth?

December 9, 2008

Ronaldinho has returned to form since joining AC Milan from Barcelona, producing some nice assists and seven goals in Serie A.

According to Kaka though, the close-season arrival of his Brazil team mate has also mucked up the tactical balance of the seven-times European champions.

“Ronnie has settled in very well and he’s giving us a big hand but before we were used to playing with automatic moves consolidated over the years,” the playmaker said last week.

“Me and Clarence (Seedorf) behind a forward, usually (Filippo) Inzaghi. With Ronaldinho the team has had to change set-up and we have to get used to having the same automatic moves with him. We play together in the national team but it’s not the same. It’s a question of understanding, which is lacking a little.”

So Kaka is having to play in a deeper position and track back more with Ronaldinho in the side, which may be the reason he has been less impressive than usual in attack this season.

He said he is willing to “sacrifice himself” for the team in this way and that he and Ronaldinho are compatible, but not without adding that he prefers to play further forward and feels more useful there.

He seemed to prove the point when, with Ronaldinho injured, he gave a man-of-the-match performance in his old position in Sunday’s 1-0 home victory over Catania, scoring the goal that ended a four-match winless run.

Seedorf had already said Ronaldinho was not the sort of player Milan needed before his transfer from Barca.

What’s the point of bringing in a former FIFA World Player of the Year if it just makes the one you have already less effective?

Next month, Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti will also have to find a way to fit in David Beckham, another offensive player, although he is confident this will not muddle things more.

“It (Beckham’s arrival) won’t upset anything at the tactical level. He’s a midfielder and so there won’t be a problem of coexistence with Kaka and Ronaldinho,” he said.

Kaka may have a point, but it also has to be said that the “automatic moves” he mentioned did not cover Milan in glory last season, when they were knocked out of the Champions League by Arsenal in the last 16 and finished fifth in Serie A.

With Ronaldinho now in town, how long is Kaka willing to resist the lure of the Premier League to continue ‘sacrificing himself’ at Milan?

PHOTO: AC Milan’s Ronaldinho (R) celebrates with his team mate Kaka after scoring against Inter Milan during their Serie A match, Sept. 28, 2008. REUTERS/Tony Gentile


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

[…] Source: Paul Virgo […]

Posted by Soccer Camps » Blog Archive » Is Ronaldinho more trouble than he’s worth? | Report as abusive

[…] to Source Share and […]

Posted by Is Ronaldinho more trouble than he’s worth? | Soccer News Info | Report as abusive

[…] Go to Source […]

Posted by Is Ronaldinho more trouble than he’s worth? | Sports 40 | Report as abusive

Ronaldinio is more of a street soccer player he had a couple years that he shined but soon people learned what he was all about and guard him well enough so he couldn’t do any of his tricks. I always thought he was over rated anyway.

Posted by soccer fan | Report as abusive

My problem with Kaka is that he plays the same way whether he’s in form or not; he is always a relentless attacker. When he’s in form his dribbling is faster and more precise; he takes shots with supreme confidence and his decision making is just world class (which is why he doesn’t appear selfish). All of this is just about enough for him to the beat teams single handedly. However, when he is lacking sharpness 95% of his individual surges fail and Milan’s attack is exposed as being completely dependent on him (which is why they failed so miserably last year).
Kaka at 100% = glory for Milan
Kaka at 95% = Milan struggles

Posted by Rick | Report as abusive

Good comment from rick. That is exactly why they need someone like Ronaldinho. The formation at man u seems to change every game for some players but you don’t see them complaining. When someone complains it is because he is trying to cover up a personal failing. 1) Kaka can’t adapt. 2) Kaka expects the team to centre around his attack. To be honest, Ronaldinho was brought it because it wasn’t working with the “normal” formation. 5th place is Serie A is pretty pathetic. And it was working. Ronnie has single-handedly kept AC Milan in contention thus far. I think this bothers Kaka. I think Kaka should move to a smaller side if he can’t work well with other superstars. Maybe transfer to West Ham or something..

Posted by Anton | Report as abusive

And with all the money he earns, Kaka complains. He’s a Milan employee, he should do what the boss says without causing problems.

Posted by Edo | Report as abusive