For me Ronaldinho is and should always be considered one of the best players of the last decade. I believe him to be better than both the aforementioned pair of Messi and Ronaldo. Don’t get me wrong, both Messi and Ronaldo are as I write the two best players in the world. They are so far ahead of the chasing pack that they could quit now and no one would reach the heights they have reached in such little time.
The big issue I have is that everyone and there dog wants to compare both players with the likes of Pele and Maradona. Likening both of these two prestigious young talents against the holy grail of football gods is blasphemous. This is why a comparison with Ronaldinho in my eyes is better as all three played in the same era as such. Messi and Ronaldinho played in the same Barcelona team and it’s clear to see the influence Ronaldinho had on the young Argentine. Ronaldinho was also an inspiration for the young Portuguese winger in his style of play with all those fancy step over’s.
Ronaldinho for me played every game like he was back playing on the streets of Brazil. He had it all, a blistering turn of pace, amazing dribbling ability, dancing feet that left the best of defenders bamboozled and a thunderous shot. He played the game he loved and always played with a smile. This free spirit style of playing led to some memorable moments such as the goal against Chelsea in the Champions league where he had a defensive wall in front of him and with a few shimmies of the right leg and a quick toe punt the ball was in the back of the net! Or his unforgettable bicycle kick against Villareal where he trapped the ball with his chest spun 90 degrees and unleashed an overhead kick to rival some of the best.
Statistically Ronaldinho may not have been as prolific in front of goal compared to Messi and Ronaldo but for sheer enjoyment of watching a great player ply his trade you can’t look further then the goofy toothed genius.