“Ronaldinho is no longer the future of Barcelona.” When hearing this, one would say, “DUH!” However, I would argue that Ronaldinho has a much larger hand in the future of the Catalan club than most people think.
Ronaldinho is still one of the top players in the world, but that isn’t the argument. His explosive play and ankle breaking moves are no longer the dominant trait in his play. Passing and free kicks seem to be his key contributions so far this season. But the best thing Ronni will bring to the squad this year is experience and leadership.
With the uprising in the Barca rankings that is currently taking place, led by Giovani Dos Santos, Bojan Krkic, and Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho’s investment in these three youngsters could lead to whether or not Barcelona can climb to the top of La Liga.
The arrival of Messi has revolutionized and uplifted the attack, especially after all the criticism thrown Ronni’s way as he recently lost his title as the best player in the world.
Despite the truth that Ronni is on the decline, Barcelona may be as poised as ever to be a shining example of the beautiful game. Dos Santos and Messi are committed to the Catalan club, and due to their devotion, Barcelona should be set for years to come regardless of Ronaldinho’s future.
Dos Santos, 18, has been receiving nothing but rave reviews since he cracked onto the first squad. His father Zizinho, a former Brazil international, said Gio is currently talking with Barca about extending his current contract, and his dream is to succeed at Barca.
Meanwhile, little Lionel is as committed as anyone to the Catalan giants. At age 11 he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency, and his family was unable to pay for the treatment which cost £500 a month. FC Barcelona noticed his potential and picked up the bill for the medicine he needed as long as he agreed to move to Spain in order to train at the FCB facilities. A few years later, he was placed on the B squad where he scored 35 goals in 30 games.
Frank Rijkaard’s job security is in question for the time being, but if Dos Santos, Messi, and Bojan continue to blossom, it’s easy to see why Barca, and Rijkaard, will be alright if Ronni can’t seem to break out of his slump. It’s a definite fact that if Ronaldinho invests in building up Dos Santos, Bojan, and Messi, FC Barcelona will regain it’s status as a powerhouse and give Real Madrid a run for their money as the Champions of La Liga.
The future of Barcelona is in it’s youth, and with their young stars, it will continue to pursue its title as being ‘mes que un club’ (more than a club).