This Ronaldinho saga reminds me of the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy was swept away in a fierce wind. Similarly, Ronaldhino looks to be on his way in a whirlwind of transfers out of Barcelona.
Once the world’s best player, he must now re-invent himself at a new club. Joan Laporta, the president of Barcelona, admitted that it was the end of an era last night on Spanish television. He also said that it is time for Ronaldinho to move on to a new club, but he should be treated like a hero for his contributions to the Catalan giants:
‘He (Ronaldinho) needs a new challenge. When a cycle finishes it is normal that the most emblematic pieces also come to an end,’ ‘I would like Ronaldinho to be given a great send-off so that he is remembered for all he has given us and that if he didn’t do any more it was because the circumstances wouldn’t allow it.’
Joan Laporta admits that Ronaldinho will be in a new uniform next year. The real question is, what uniform? Here’s where he could end up:
It would be poetic for Ronaldinho to go to Milan and partner his Brazilian compatriot. He would presumably play alongside Kaka, and run the offense in an attacking midfield position. It would be great for Ronaldhino to reinvent himself under the bright lights of the San Siro. Italy is a league that would also suit his style of play. He likes to carry the ball and make moves, and that is far more common in Italy than it is in England (another possible destination for him). At this point, it looks like Milan might be out of the question, as Barcelona may require too much money for the Brazilian’s services. ·
Gianluigi Buffon has already made up his mind on this matter. He thinks “Ronaldinho would be the dream of any player or supporter,” and Juventus is also looking to strengthen their squad for a deep Champions League run next year. The squad finished in a strong third place in Serie A this year, after a year in Serie B. Is Juventus as serious a buyer as Milan is at this point? No, but if Ronaldinho doesn’t move to Milan, they might become one of his main suitors. Juventus missed out on Mathieu Flamini, the French midfielder, and would be unwise to miss out on Ronaldinho as well. ·
Nothing would be better for Manchester City than splashing cash for Ronaldinho. A superstar would immediately raise the pedigree of the club and its media exposure, as well. Thaksin Shinawatra is an ambitious man and his pockets are deep. If Sven Goran Eriksson is sacked, and Scolari is hired, this could be a very likely destination. Luiz Felipe Scolari, the coach of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup winning squad, would love to be re-united with his old player.
If City decide to keep Sven Goran Eriksson the move might not benefit Ronaldinho. There is plenty of turmoil at the club, and much of that is due to the confrontation between the fans, the owner, and the manager. If Ronaldinho had to choose where to go today, it would not be in his best interest to go to City. That said, the lure of the EPL, and the possibility of re-uniting with a former coach, could be too difficult to resist.
The only thing we really know right now is that Ronaldinho will be leaving the Camp Nou this summer. Where will he go? We should find out soon enough. If I had to make a guess, it would be Milan, but who knows?
I can make one prediction, and that is that Ronaldinho will do great things for whichever club he goes to. His loss of form at Barcelona had more to do with the situation at the club than with any real loss of ability.
What do you guys think? Where will Ronaldinho end up, and how will he do at his new club?
Also see: What would you pay for Ronaldinho?.