Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, nicknamed Ronaldinho Gaucho, was born on March 21, 1980 in the southern city of Porto Alegre. Known as today’s greatest footballer; this young man is another rags to riches story that rose to international supremacy starting from a poor family and was raised in the dirt road-laced settlements of favelas.
His talent was so evident at a young age that he helped Brazil win the World under-17 Championship in Egypt. During that event he was scouted by local club Gremio and signed his first professional contract.
Ronaldinho won his first senior cap for Brazil against Latvia in 1999 where he scored 15 goals in 14 games while playing for Gremio. He then played for Copa America squad of Brazil scoring an incredible goal against Venezuela en route to a trophy win. Later that year, he scored their first hat-trick in the Confederations Cup semi-finals against Saudi Arabia.
Two years later, he left Gremio for Paris St. Germain (PSG) playing only 3 months after and with the help of FIFA due to contract restrictions.
A year after his start at PSG he was voted Franceâ€™s player of the month for January after hitting 6 goals in 7 games.
During the World Cup 2002 he was best remembered for scoring the famous freekick against David Seaman in Brazil’s World Cup Quarter Finals match against England. The arc and how the ball got to the net were technically difficult but were done through Ronaldinho‘s creativity and talent.
In 2003 summer transfer market, he joined Barcelona for Â£21m after rejecting Manchester United.
He is a genius on the playing field that could find the net in the most spectacular, outstanding and creative shots. His dedication to the game has continuously raised his level of play throughout the years which led to Barcelona’s renewed domination of the Spanish Primera Division.
Ronaldinho was chosen by Brazil legend Pele as one of the 11 greatest living footballers through FIFA.
To sum up, below is the list of teams and awards he has played and received throughout his career:
1999 – 2001: Gremio de Porto Alegre, Brazil
2001 – 2003: Paris St. Germain, France Ligue 1. Signed for fee of $4.5 million
2003 – F.C. Barcelona, Spain. Signed for fee of between $30 -$35 million
1997: U-17 FIFA World Cup Winner. Voted MVP of Tournament
1999: Copa America Winner
2000: FIFA Confederations Cup. Golden Boot Award – six goals
2002: FIFA World Cup Winner
2004: FIFA World Player of The Year
2004-2005: Primera Division Champion with F.C. Barcelona.
2005: FIFpro World Player of The Year.
2005: European Footballer of The Year – ‘Ballon d’Or’ Winner
The latest sensation from soccer powerhouse Brazil; scores beautiful goals on a whim and dances the samba while doing. He is going to be a force to reckon with for years to come.
Expect a dominating performance from him in the upcoming World Cup 2006!