Barcelona legends Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi were reunited once again on Tuesday and shared a warm embrace before Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League tie with RB Leipzig.
Ronaldinho was a special guest of PSG’s at the match and looked delighted to see his former team-mate ahead of kick-off. The two players enjoyed a hug and some quick words in a touching moment at the Parc des Princes.
Ronaldinho and Messi are widely regarded as two of the greatest players ever to grace the game and both have played for Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. The two featured together for Barcelona before Ronaldinho left the Camp Nou in 2007.
Messi inherited Ronaldinho’s No. 10 shirt at Barcelona after the Brazilian’s departure and wore it until he shocked the world in the summer and left for PSG. Teenage striker Ansu Fati has since taken over the famous number at the Catalan club.
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Messi Talks ‘Mentor’ Ronaldinho
Messi has been happy to talk about the influence Ronaldinho had on his career and how he helped him when he first broke into the first team at the Camp Nou. The Argentine has also previously admitted he wished he could have played with Ronaldinho for longer, as reported by Eurosport.
“Ronaldinho helped me a lot. I came into the dressing room at 16-17 years of age, seeing all those footballing giants made it tough,” he told TyC Sports. “But he mentored me and made me feel comfortable, and I loosened up. Afterwards on the pitch, I always looked for him but we didn’t have many years to enjoy together. Besides, we didn’t play as much at that time. I would have liked to play more with Ronaldinho.”
Yet Ronaldinho has always insisted that Messi did not really need his help due to his extraordinary talent. He told Panenka magazine that the two enjoyed a very close relationship as reported by Goal.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Messi Backed To Win Seventh Ballon d’Or
Messi’s brilliance has seen him win the prestigious Ballon d’Or, handed out to the world’s best player, a record six times and he is one of the favorites to lift the Golden Ball again in 2021.
The 34-year-old captained Barcelona to Copa del Rey glory last season and inspired Argentina to victory in the Copa America. Former Barca team-mate Gerard Pique is in no doubt that Messi should win the Ballon d’Or yet again, as reported by Eurosport.
“I think Leo will win Ballon d’Or for sure, ” he said. “The parameters for this trophy are so distorted that people no longer know what we are valuing. If we are valuing trophies, Jorginho should be the winner but if you value the best player in the world, Leo must be the winner. If it’s valuing trophies plus performance plus figures… The winner is also Leo. Leo should have won more than seven times.”
The winner will be announced on November 29 with Messi, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzezma the favorites to win the famous award.