Moments of Magic #20 – Ronaldinho

Spain’s two biggest clubs will go head to head tonight in the latest chapter of El Clásico, and Moments of Magic looks back at one of the greatest individual performances to grace the fixture.

Ronaldinho v Real Madrid, 2005

Barcelona’s dynasty was really kicking off during the 2005/06 season and on 19 November they travelled to Madrid to face bitter rivals Real.

Barca took the lead after just 14 minutes when striker Samuel Eto’o picked up the ball from a promising youngster by the name of Lionel Messi and finished with aplomb past Iker Casillas.

The visitors dominated throughout as Madrid’s Galaticos failed to get a grip on the game, and Ronaldinho was unrivalled as the best player on the park.

His first goal arrived on the hour when he picked up the ball on the left wing, skipped past the hapless Sergio Ramos and evaded Ivan Helguera before clinically beating Casillas with a low finish.

On 78 minutes he repeated the trick, again making a mockery at Sergio Ramos’ defending down the left hand side and calmly caressing the ball into the net after opening out his body.

Even though their side was being thought a football lesson by their sworn enemy, the fans at the Bernabeu rose in unison to stand and applaud the Brazilian, the like of which had never seen before.

“It was an emotional moment and I’ll never forget it,” said Ronaldinho.

“Very few players receive such a thing in their career. It’s not normal in a game like that, it’s an honor.”

Barcelona went on to win La Liga before defeating Arsenal in the final of the Champions League, while Ronaldinho was later crowned World Player of the Year.

Plagued by injuries throughout 2007/08, Ronaldinho decided to leave Spain to seek a new challenge and moved to AC Milan for a reported €18.5 million.

The Author

Neil Sherwin

Co-editor of Writes mostly on Premier League and A-League with contributions to other sites including TheFootballSack, InBedWithMaradona and Bloomberg's BSports. Has featured on The Guardian's Football Weekly.

4 thoughts on “Moments of Magic #20 – Ronaldinho

  1. What a player. It’s such a pity that he couldn’t stay on this level for a few more years.

    And Rage against The Machine made that video even better.

  2. Isn’t he like a boxer, a welterweight stylist à la Sugar Ray Robinson? And a musician exploring new rhythm with his feets. And a dancer, this guy must rule at Dance Dance Revolution. And a feline: I’m in ur stadum, makin a mockery of ur defenze!

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