The extraordinary career of Ronaldinho Gaucho has come to an end, his brother and representative, Roberto de Assis has confirmed.
Currently working as an ambassador for Barcelona, the 37-year-old admitted in a recent interview that he felt too old for football and he has decided that now is the right time to walk away from the sport he has given so much too.
"He does not want to play professionally anymore," his brother Assis told UOL Esporte.
"There is no tribute match arranged right now, but I'm sure we'll do one after the World Cup."
Ronaldinho last played professionally for Fluminense in 2015, having previously represented Gremio, PSG, Barcelona, Milan, Flamengo, Atletico Mineiro and Queretaro.
Ronaldinho's retire new brings us a Déjà Vu, the fantastic moments of the Brazilian in the context of the upcoming UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash between Barça and Chelsea.
The first pearl Barcelona's former number 10 gave us against The Blues was in the second leg of the 2004-05 UCL Round of 16. Having lost 2-1 in the first leg in Camp Nou, Chelsea found themselves with an early 3-0 victory in Stamford Bridge which gave a feeling of an overwhelming victory versus Catalan giants in the atmosphere.
Things seemed to be relaxed for Mourinho's side until Ronaldinho appeared and said stop with two gestures. The Brazilian found the target by winning his particular penalty kick battle against Peter Cech and within the next minutes he would be able to strike again to return Barça the lead in the aggregate by the law of away goals.
A masterpiece summarized in the following sequence: Iniesta's (even back in his early days Andrés Iniesta was Chelsea's nightmare) pass, Dinho's control, a samba gesture, toe-punt definition and voila, light had been made!
In the end Barça would fall eliminated by the John terry's goal afterwards in the second half.
BARÇA FELT ELIMINATED IN THE LAST PRECEDENT AGAINST CHELSEA IN 2011-12 SEMIFINALS. WITNESS IF MESSI AND COMPANY WILL BE ABLE TO GET A NEW REVENGE AGAINST THE STAMFORD BRIDGE TEAM BY BOOKING YOUR TICKETS NOW!
However, football and life bring chances for revenge. That's what Ronnie and Barça were about to experience on March 7th. 2006, in a new knock-out stage of the football's biggest competition in Europe.
The Frank Rijkaard's team had won the first leg in Stamford Bridge 2-1 with a stunning performance of Lionel Messi, and the goals of John Terry (own goal) and Samuel Eto'o neutralizing Thiago Motta's opener own goal.
MESSI HAS GOT EXTRAORDINARY PERFORMANCES AGAINST CHELSEA BUT CURIOUSLY HAS NEVER SCORED IN EIGHT MATCHES AGAINST THEM. DISCOVER IF THE ARGENTINEAN GENIUS WILL OVERTURN ALL OF HIS ANGER AGAINST CONTE'S SIDE!
In a tense second leg the Porto Alegre wizard took a ball 30 yards away Cech's goal and started a memorable run dragging all Chelsea's defense that would make a desperate and useless attempt to stop the Brazilian genius before it all would end with John Terry falling on the ground the goal that finally shut down the Round of 16 clash between Catalans and Londoners.
This March 14th., eleven years after that magical Ronaldinho's appearance which lead Barcelona to Quarter Finals, Footy Legend gives you a chance almost as big as the Dinho's one in front of Peter Cech: the chance of witnessing a new edition of this European classical confrontation once again in a knock-out stage.