The former FIFA World Player of the Year scored a spectacular goal on Sunday that did more than remind fans of who he used to be. It showed them the caliber of player he still is.
Ronaldinho delivered for his team, Atletico Mineirio, in a testy Brazilian Serie A game against Cruzeiro. The game was tied 1-1 in the 90th minute and Mineiro was playing down a man.
Ronaldinho took a pass in his own half and exploded forward with a burst of speed the likes of which we haven’t seen in some time. He dribbled past one opponent in the center circle, carried it forward and beat another one at the top of the area. The 32-year-old forward then cut back his dribble and beat the first defender (again) before calmly slotting his shot past Cruzeiro goalkeeper Fabio into the goal.
The goal was up there with some of his all-time greats, but the FIFA World Cup winner did not enjoy it too much since Cruzeiro tied it in stoppage time and the game ended in a 2-2 draw, according to Xinhua.
“The goal is something that I’ve always like to do: winning possession on the left and using my pace and dribbling to get past the defense,” Ronaldinho said.
“We prepared all week for this game and now we’ve been left with a bitter taste in our mouths because of their late goal.”
Atletico Mineiro is enjoying a fine start to the season. It sits atop the league standings at roughly the halfway point of the campaign and harbors geniune ambitions of winning its first national title since 1971.
It hasn’t lost in 13 games, and Ronaldinho has played a key role in that early success. The former PSG, FC Barcelona and AC Milan star has five goals and seven assists to his credit, making Mineiro’s decision to sign him look like a master-stroke. Meanwhile, his former club Flamengo is languishing in ninth place in the 20-team league.
Watch Ronaldinho’s solo effort in the video below.
Photo via Twitter/@duguiar