Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Ronaldinho thrives…with a little help from his friends

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Ronaldinho

“So we didn’t make a mistake after all,” quipped AC Milan owner and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi after Ronaldinho scored twice in the 3-0 win over Sampdoria on Sunday.

The Brazilian, who went badly off the boil in his final two seasons at Barcelona, has also had an inconsistent start to his San Siro career after a 21 million euro move.

The doubters (ie. Inter Milan fans) quickly asserted that the mercurial talent had lost his magical powers for good. (more…)

Ronaldinho morphs into a striker

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Ronaldinho scores

Ronaldinho’s great bullet header in AC Milan’s 1-0 win over derby rivals Inter on Sunday surprised the Brazilian as much as everybody else.

The former Barcelona player was so shocked at scoring such a goal that he ran around the San Siro pitch like a headless chicken before being hugged by his team mates and performing his customary dance. (more…)

Could the next big vacancy be at Milan?

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Carlo Ancelotti

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti was told his position was secure after the 2007 European champions finished fifth in Serie A last term and missed out on this season’s Champions League.

However, two defeats in their opening two league matches have put him under pressure again. The arrivals of Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko were designed to help stop the rot but Milan’s main problem last season was a static midfield and the issue remains unresolved.

Xavi and Iniesta can prove there’s life after Ronaldinho

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Brothers in arms: Xavi and IniestaAs we all saw during Euro 2008, Xavi and Iniesta are two of the best ball-playing midfielders in Europe. Now it’s time they showed it for Barcelona.

Don’t get me wrong — the two little midfielders have been good enough for the Catalans over the past few seasons. But now that Ronaldinho has gone, along with Deco and possibly to be followed by Eto’o, this is the moment for the two gifted midfielders to show they can really carry the team.

Eto’o proves transfer talk is not always tittle-tattle

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Very few people believed the story that Samuel Eto’o was considering a move to Uzbekistan’s Kuruvchi.

All of sudden it turned out to be true with Barcelona’s Cameroon striker speaking at a news conference in the country’s capital. Despite mega money being thrown in his direction, Eto’o will probably not end up there but at least they got him to go out and talk. Even if it was just a publicity stunt, it worked.

Ronaldinho heads to AC Milan – your views

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Ronaldinho is finally leaving Barcelona after months of speculation and will sign for AC Milan on Wednesday.

Many questions remain, however. Will Milan let him play at the Olympics? Barca said no and Milan also stopped Kaka going so it seems unlikely he can shoot off to Beijing.

Should United sell Ronaldo after Champions League final?

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Cristiano RonaldoThe speculation in Spanish newspapers in the build-up to the Champions League final is all about Cristiano Ronaldo and the chances of him signing for Real Madrid next season (see Marca, for example).

The feeling in Madrid seems to be that if United beat Chelsea here in Moscow tonight, the ludicrously talented Portugal winger could leave Old Trafford thinking something along the lines of “My work is done here…”

Who should Barcelona sign to replace Ronaldinho?

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Kaka reactsThere’s speculation in Marca today that if AC Milan do complete a deal to sign Ronaldinho at the end of the season, they might be prepared to let Kaka move to Real Madrid.

That got me thinking about what the other knock-on effects might be, and especially about whether Barcelona would feel obliged to sign another big-name player as a replacement.

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

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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.”

Bad times return to Camp Nou

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Henry takes a breatherOn Sunday night, after five years of calm, Barcelona fans finally exploded. The white handkerchiefs — a common way of showing frustration in Spain’s stadiums — were out, against the club president, the coach, the players … anybody involved in what seems set to be a second straight trophy-less year.

More precisely, Sunday’s exhibition was against the perceived apathy of millionaire players who appear to move ever more slowly, as if they weren’t in the match at all.

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