Former Brazil and Barcelona forward Ronaldinho has officially announced his retirement at the age of 37. The news were confirmed by his brother and agent, Roberto Assis, who also indicated that farewell matches are likely to be scheduled after the World Cup in Russia.
At his peak, Ronaldinho amazed Football fans across the globe with a combination of daring moves and highlight goals. Ronaldinho’s decorated career includes one World Cup title (2002), one Champions League victory with Barcelona (2006) and the 2005 Ballon d’Or.
Son of João Moreira and Miguelina de Assis, Ronaldo de Assis Moreira was born in March 21, 1980 in the city of Porto Alegre. The star was surrounded by Football from the day he was born, coming from a family where his father, uncle and brother played professionally. He began his career at the age of 7, one year prior to the passing of his greatest idol, his father.
His early experiences with Futsal, a variant to traditional Football, helped him develop a unique playing style, with a remarkable ball control. He states most of his moves originate from Futsal as it is played in a much smaller space and requires a unique set of skills.
In 1997, Ronaldinho was called-up to Brazil’s Under-17 National team to later win the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Egypt, where he was also named tournament MVP. The achievement, earned him a contract with one of the most prestigious club teams in Brazil, Grêmio, a team he played for 4 years before signing a contract to play for Paris Saint-Germain in France.
His continued success was followed by one of his greatest accomplishments, the 2002 FIFA World Cup title. The highlight of his career gave way to Ronaldinho’s lifelong dream and most successful years playing for Barcelona FC, where he led his teammates to the prestigious UEFA Champions League title in 2006. The glory days were followed by a short period in Italy with A.C. Milan, before his return to home soil to play for some of Brazil’s elite teams Flamengo, Atletico Mineiro and most recently Fluminense.
Since moving to Rio de Janeiro, the star has consistently shown his desire to boost the increasing awareness of Footvolley. During a recent interview Ronaldinho stated “I want to do more for Footvolley. It’s growing and it’s a show. There’s a world league and I want to practice to be at the level of the players that are also there.”
Could this be his next move?