• Messi didn't need anything from me at Barcelona - Ronaldinho
    13:43 | 17/01/2020

    The Brazilian is often said to have taken the young phenomenon under his wing at Camp Nou but stresses his influence was minimal.

    Photo by Getty

    The Brazilian is often said to have taken the young phenomenon under his wing at Camp Nou but stresses his influence was minimal

    Ronaldinho believes Lionel Messi didn’t need anything from him while he was breaking through at Barcelona.

    The 2002 World Cup winner arrived at Camp Nou in 2003 and was at the club when a teenage Messi began working his way into the Catalans’ first-team.

    After claiming a delightful chipped assist for the Argentine’s first senior goal, Ronaldinho would go on to forge an effective pairing with Messi as the two bounced off one another in the final third.

    While seemingly helping Messi settle at Barcelona, the Brazilian is adamant his influence wasn’t needed, with his team-mate always destined to shine.

    “When I arrived at Barcelona, there was already talk of a kid [Messi] who stood out,” Ronaldinho told Panenka magazine, via Marca.

    “Then we were friends; we started playing together and we got on very well. He arrived being different to all the others, and we spoke with [Frank] Rijkaard so that he came to train with us – it was all very fast.

    “I was lucky enough to give him the pass for his first goal.

    “Over time, it’s very nice to see someone who starts out so close [to you] and then conquers the world.

    “We were always very close. We learned things, he taught me Spanish and I taught him Portuguese, but with the ball we understood each other perfectly.

    “I’d be left amazed by how calm he is. That’s something I love about him; he never gets into trouble, he’s always with his family and those closest to him.

    “Leo has everything, he didn’t need anything from me.”

    Ronaldinho spent five seasons at Barcelona, winning two La Liga titles, and declared Rijkaard was the best manager he played for during his distinguished career.

    “He’s a great coach, a very quiet guy, the best I’ve ever worked with,” Ronaldinho said of the Dutchman. “He knew everything because he played at the highest level, and that made things easy for us.

    “Everything he asked us to do, he has already done it before, so he spoke to us in a very simple and direct way.

    “He gave me a lot of freedom to play my football. When we didn’t have the ball, we also had to fulfil our obligations. But when we had it, he made me feel completely free.”

    Source – Goal.com

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