Ronaldinho hasn’t been anywhere near his best for the best part since the 2006 Germany World Cup and looks more and more likely that he won’t be able to reinvent himself. Yet at 27, Ronaldinho is still one of the best footballers on the planet and certainly one of the priciest. And definitely wanted by English Premier League outfits Chelsea, according to press reports.
But not according to Ronaldinho’s brother and agent Roberto de Assis. The Brazilian is in Barcelona at the moment to meet their mother and sister and is not all amused by reports suggesting that a deal has been struck between FC Barcelona and Chelsea. Assis says that his brother Ronaldinho is staying put at Camp Nou, at least till 2010.
This is what the frustrated and disgruntled Assiss had to say about he messy situation:
It is a surprise to me because I have not spoken to anyone. He is very calm and, like a true professional, is used to these things. What I have to say I will say to the club. He is happy because he has had some great times here, but every Wednesday and Sunday a new story comes out.
And the fact that the recent allegation that the two clubs have stuck a deal over the Brazilian international has been thrown by the pro-Madrid sports dailyMarca doesn’t add much credibility to the repot. Yet the alarm bells can hardly be stopped from ringing.
That there’s trouble between the player and the club is certain. Ronaldinho has been missing La Liga games for Barca at regular intervals this season as he did last season and was booed off the pitch by the fans earlier this season. Photos, some would say doctored pictures, illustrate that he is getting fatter along his waist and there have been consistent reports that he missed training sessions for a work-out in the gym.
And more importantly, and maybe even surprisingly, Ronaldinho hasn’t been missed on the pitch at all this season. He has been mediocre at best in the matches that he has featured for Barca so far this season and has been brilliant only occasionally. Instead it’s been Argentine sensational and Diego Maradona contender Lionel Messi who has embraced the Ronaldinho role. The likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Thierry Henry have contributed too and it’s clear that without Ronaldinho Barca won’t struggle.
So is Ronaldinho’s career at the Catalan cathedral over? Is he really heading out of Camp Nou before now? Or are there more twists in the story?