Brazilian magician, Ronaldinho, is back at the Camp Nou as a club ambassador, with Barcelona looking to expand their following abroad – okay, cash in.
The Spanish giants have opened up offices in New York, and are utilising the former attacking-midfielder’s popularity to maximise attraction across the pond.
The affection football fans feel for the Brazilian icon is universal. I’m sure we all remember when the Catalans were beating bitter rivals Real Madrid 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu, only for the Los Blancos fans to actually stand up and applaud the Barca man as he was substituted after a stunning performance. He was THAT good!
Imagine an Arsenal player being applauded at White Hart Lane, following turning Spurs over 3-0?!
Another memorable moment which emphasises the no. 10’s popularity was when Barca captain, Carles Puyol, pulled Ronaldinho over for a team-photo when the Brazilian was playing for AC Milan in 2010.
However, the ex-Milan player is probably not quite as popular in England for *that* outrageous free-kick back in 2002; bloody Seaman. And, the Brazilian is remembered even less fondly amongst Chelsea fans, after dumping the London side out the Champions League in 2007, and having the audacity to score this brilliant goal at the Bridge.
The 36-year-old retired last year with Brazilian side, Fluminense, after an incredible career, which deservedly saw the bucktooth’d wonder win back-to-back FIFA World Footballer of the Year awards in 2004 and 2005, and the Ballon d’Or in ’05. And we’re sure the legend of the game will attract a large following as well in his new off the field role at Barca.