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Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho is a notable world-renowned Brazilian soccer player. He plays as a forward and attacking midfielder on the field. In 2004 and 2005 he received the FIFA World Player of the Year award. He is considered one of the finest players of the generation given his noteworthy performances throughout seasons. He is recognized for his excellent techniques, dribbling, overhead kicks and free kicks. He has played for Paris Saint-Germain, FC Barcelona, Milan and the national team of Brazil. His name was included in the list of greatest living athletes of the world issued by Pele as FIFA 100.

Early Life

On 21 March 1980, Ronaldo de Assis Moreira was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil. His mother was a salesperson and a nurse, while his worked at a shipyard. The football fever ran in his family. His father used to play for a local club Esporte Clube Cruzeiro. After his father’s death, Ronaldo’s older brother took over and signed with Grêmio who had him move to a more affluent Guarujá area of Porto Alegre. However, Robert’s injury ruined all his plans for football. When Ronaldo turned eight, he began to exhibit signs of a potential soccer player. He was given the nickname Ronaldinho for being smallest player in youth clubs. As a child he had interest in futsal and beach football which later developed into passion for professional football.

Career

It was not until Ronaldo was thirteen when his performance called media’s attention. He scored 23 goals in a 3-0 victory against a local club. It became clear as a day that Ronaldo had the potential to make as a professional soccer player when he scored two goals on penalty kicks in under-17 1997 World Championship. With that outstanding performance, he became Brazil’s rising star.

Ronaldo’s began his career with the Grêmio youth team. He made his senior player debut in 1998 and the following year he scored twenty-three goals in forty-eight matches, winning the Rio Grande do Sul State Championship final. He also helped his club win Copa Sul-Minas. He received offer from Arsenal to play for them but he couldn’t obtain work permit as a non-EU player. On another occasion he considered playing for Premiere League of Scotland which also did not pan out as he was involved in a passport scandal.

In 2001, he eventually succeeded in obtaining a spot in a foreign club. He was transferred for €5 million to Paris Saint-Germain on a five-year contract. He received the number 21 shirt and made his league debut for the club on 4 August 2001. In the seasons that followed he scored several goals against Monaco, Rennes, Lens and Lorient. In addition to that, he played a crucial role in helping Saint Germain team reach the semi-final of the Coupe de la Ligue. Following his outstanding career with the French club he was transferred to FC Barcelona who outbid Manchester United with €30 million offer, reportedly. In his debut with Barcelona against Milan he scored a goal cementing a 2-0 victory.

 

Awards and Achievements

Ronaldinho’s incredible play garnered Brazilian national team 2002 FIFA World Cup victory. To honour his remarkable performance following awards were presented to him:

  • FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Ball (1999)
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team (2002)
  • FIFA World Player of the Year (2004,2005)
  • UEFA Team of the Year (2003-2006)
  • Ballon d’Or (2005)

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Argentinean professional football player, Lionel Messi, holds a preeminent position in the world of sports. He is considered a legend among his contemporaries for his outstanding performances that permeates his entire career. He plays for the national team of Argentina and Spanish club Barcelona. Playing for Barcelona he has won four UEFA Champions League titles. His prolific goal scoring streak earned him a rank among top-tier soccer players across the globe. He owns five FIFA Ballons d’Or titles among other prestigious accolades.

Early Life

On 24 June 1987, in Rosario, Argentina, Lionel Andrés Messi was born to Italian father, Jorge Messi and Celia Cuccittini of Spanish descent. His father was a manager in a steel factory, while his mother worked in a workshop that manufactured magnets. Being raised in a soccer-loving family, Messi’s inclination toward football was natural early in his childhood. At the age of four his father had him join a local club Grandoli and then the Rosario club, Newell’s Old Boys, when he turned six. He continued to amaze crowd with his performances until 1997 when he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency, which could have impeded his progress. His father’s insurance could only cover his treatment expenditure for two years. As Newell withdrew from his promise to pay for his treatment, Messi’s family moved to Spain where he was inducted in Barcelona club, which covered all of his treatment expenses.

Career

In 2002, Messi was enrolled in the Royal Spanish Football Federation. Upon completion of his treatment, he joined Barcelona’s best youth team. He scored 36 goals in 30 games, becoming the top goal scorer of the season. He suffered a broken cheekbone during a game which didn’t hinder him from playing. He received an offer by a foreign club Arsenal to join them but he remained with Barcelona. The following years, Messi progressed rapidly. He debuted for five teams in a single campaign. Impressed by his performance, Ronaldinho befriended him and referred to him as his little brother. He saw potential in him, and he come to realize that it could prove Messi being a better player than him.

In 2005, turning eighteen, Messi signed his first contract as a senior player for the next five years. It increased his buyout clause by 150 million Euro. He performed splendidly in the following months which got attention of several clubs who made lucrative buyout offers. However, he remained with Barcelona which extended his contract till 2014. The legal issues regarding his legal association with the Spanish Football Federation, Messi couldn’t play the La Liga. However, things worked in his favour as soon as he acquired Spanish citizenship. He was declared eligible for playing in La Liga. He proved his mettle playing against elite teams like Real Madrid and Chelsea securing victory.

Awards and Achievements

  • FIFA World Player of the Year: 2009
  • UEFA Club Forward of the Year: 2009
  • FIFA Ballon d’Or: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015
  • UEFA Best Player in Europe: 2011, 2015
  • European Golden Shoe: 2010, 2012, 2013

As Messi’s performance graph climbed, Barcelona’s rank dropped. Messi is worshipped as an idol by the culés, the club’s supporters. He received several major injuries throughout the seasons yet he kept braving the odds. He is often compared to Diego Maradona as he imitated several of his goal styles like when he scored a goal at Copa del Rey semi-final which was known as Maradona’s Goal of the Century.