Ronaldinho recently came back from injury and whipped in a trademark free kick with ease. Playing in Brazil for Atletico Mineiro, should he be added to Brazil’s World cup roster? It’s all that Brazilian training that made Ronaldinho that player he is today. You can tell he just loves to play the game.
While Ronadinho’s not young anymore, he’s not too old either at age 33. Look at Ryan Giggs, who at 40 and still playing sagely for Manchester United, would certainly be on England’s World cup team if he’d only chosen them over Wales long ago. Surely Brazil would like to have the option to bring on Ronaldinho late in the game if they need a goal.
Plus, Ronaldinho fixed his teeth you know, not as much of his gums show anymore and he’s got white veneers. I’m kidding of course, Ronaldinho’s smile is loved and cherished whether his gums were fixed or not. Heck, it’s rumored there were clauses in contracts saying he had to keep his unique smile just the way it was.
Really though, Ronaldinho is kind of like Beckham in a way, old but wise and incredibly savvy, able to laser a pass across the field or a free kick into the back of the net when he feels like it. Beckham played on until he was 38, and surely England regretted not putting him on the World Cup roster four years ago.
Can Ronaldinho still dribble and beat people like when he was in his prime at Barcelona? Not so much. At the Camp Nou Ronaldinho could get the ball at his feet and charge forward with power, strength and finesse. During an El Clasico match in Madrid, he was giving a standing ovation after he tore apart Real Madrid’s defense. But his joy and enthusiasm for the game, his ability to step up and score off a dead ball, that might just enough to make him a worthy addition to Brazil’s side if he can stay healthy.
Where would Ronaldinho play on the Brazilian squad anyway? He’d certainly have to play upfront with no defensive duties what so ever. But Brazil already have Jo, Hulk, Frend, Luis Fabiano, Neymar, Robinho and maybe even Alexandre Pato in their forward selection pool of options.
But there’s a ton of pressure on Brazil, playing the World Cup in their homeland they’re pretty much required to win or at least make it to the final and play beautifully. Winning the Confederations Cup alleviated many of the concerns about the Brazilian side, as they played wonderful football and won the tournament. However, the World Cup will be different, more pressure, more demands from the fans, a smiling and joyful Ronaldinho might help the team relax.
But it’s Neymar’s team now, maybe there’s no need for Ronaldinho. Plus, if you add Ronaldinho do you add Robinho and Kaka, too.
If only other countries had such difficult things to worry about with their own rosters. Most other countries are trying to prove a player who was born in Brazil can now play for their country. A small country would have been smart to try to get Ronaldino to move to their small island for a time, play club football for some local team, and somehow, someway, gain citizenship so he could play for their country in the World Cup. Of course that’s impossible since Ronadilho already played for Brazil, but they can dream.
In truth, it’s wishful thinking to even think of placing Ronaldinho on the World Cup squad for Brazil: there are just too many good players in Brazil’s pool of players that would miss out if you picked him. You could go down to the beach and scoop up a young skinny kid who might just be the next Neymar – why not give new stars and youngsters a chance to play on the world stage, Ronaldinho had his turn. Still though, I’m going to miss Ronaldinho’s smile.