Ronaldinho Gaucho has announced his retirement from soccer at aged 37.
He played his last professional match in 2015 for Fluminense and has now officially surrendered to the march of time.
His brother and agent, Roberto Assis, confirmed the news and also indicated that plans are afoot for a series of farewell events in Brazil, Europe, and Asia. Ronaldinho’s long-time sponsor, Nike, will be actively involved in the farewell tour.
Few would argue that his best years were with Barcelona. But he could have so easily have finished up at Manchester United.
At his peak, Ronaldinho played like a force of nature. Speed, guile, and superb technique he combined with the ability of a natural showman. No move was too audacious, no shot on goal too outrageous.
His long flowing hair, that permanent, extra-toothy smile and the usually over-sized, untucked shirt: everything about his on-field persona was captivating. He would attempt flicks, dribbles and shots that few would contemplate. You can still type the words “Ronaldinho skills” into YouTube and be fixated for hours.
Waking up, bleary-eyed at 4.45am to watch you in the Champions League was a privilege, and we may never see another player like you again.
He Is One Of Soccer’s All-Time Greats