Ronaldinho Returns To Brazil
Tuesday, 11th January 2011 at 09:08am
2002 World Cup winner Ronaldinho has joined Rio de Janeiro-based club Flamengo on a four-year deal after leaving seven-time European Champions AC Milan.
Ronaldinho, the former World Footballer of the Year in 2005 and 2006, joined AC Milan from Barcelona in 2008 after helping the Catalan side win La Liga and Champions League titles but sought a move after losing his place with the rossonieri following the signings of Zlatan Ibrahimovich, Robinho and Antonio Cassona.
The Brazil star had attracted the attention of Premier League side Blackburn Rovers who offered him a three-year deal worth 20 million and was also linked with Brazilian sides Palmeiras and former club Gremio.
The deal will see Ronaldinho contracted to the Rio club until 2014 and will reunite him with former Brazil coach Wanderley Luxemburgo who gave the World Cup winner his first cap in 1999.
Ronaldinho began his professional career with Gremio before making the move to Paris St Germain in 2001.
Two years later he joined Barcelona and was part of an all-star trio alongside Deco and Samuel Eto'o under the stewardship of Dutchman Frank Rijkaard.
Playing the best football of his career, Ronaldinho inspired Barca to domestic and European success in 2006 and was expected to help inspire Brazil to World Cup glory in Germany in 2006.
The Selecao were eliminated at the quarter final stage by a rejuvenated France and Ronaldinho was unable to consistently recapture his best form.
In 2008, Ronaldinho opted to join AC Milan instead of Manchester City and showed glimpses of his former genius albeit in brief spells and will now ply his trade in his homeland.