World Soccer views and news
Where does benchwarmer Ronaldinho go from here?
AC Milan are flying high at the top of Serie A but Ronaldinho is stuck to the bench with Massimiliano Allegri-branded glue.
The struggling Brazilian has started once in the last nine games and that was in the lacklustre 2-0 home defeat by Ajax Amsterdam, Milan’s only loss during the spell.
Most soccer fans outside Italy have probably never heard of Milan boss Allegri, plucked out of relative obscurity at Cagliari, but he has certainly made a name for himself in Serie A by deciding his side would be better off without carrying a player who may be Silvio Berlusconi’s favourite but whose powers have long since faded.
It is now a case Ronaldinhoinhoinho such is the forward’s diminutive status in Milan’s grand plan.
Along with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Allegri has re-energised the Rossoneri and after going six points clear they now look big favourites for a first scudetto since 2004 – thus ending Inter Milan’s five-year reign,
New signings Kevin Prince Boateng, Robinho and Ibra scored in that order for the second straight league game in Sunday’s 3-0 win at Bologna, leading newspapers to parody Ronaldinho with a new dream-laden moniker – Boatinhovic.
The trio, the January return to fitness of Alexandre Pato and Allegri’s call for a new signing in the transfer window to replace the injured Filippo Inzaghi mean Ronaldinho’s future at the San Siro looks bleak.
Unlike Carlos Tevez and his weird situation at Manchester City, Ronaldinho has little bargaining power with his contract running down.
He says he wants to stay and fight for his place but that might be because few other clubs would actually be interested in taking on his big wages these days.
There are constant rumours LA Galaxy want the former world player of the year, but his lax stepovers and constant failed attempts to drop the shoulder might not even work in MLS.
Media reports have even linked Liverpool with a bid but a return to Brazil like another fallen idol Ronaldo looks the most likely, even if Allegri has said the player will stay at Milan at least until June.