Much before Lionel Messi, there was Ronaldinho Image: Twitter
The beauty of sport lies in appreciating the fact that there's always someone better than you. And Ronaldinho did exactly that.
Football magazine FourFourTwo recently republished an old interview of the Brazilian legend, where he said he knew Lionel Messi was a better player than him.
The question that stood out in the entire interview was: How tough a decision was it to leave Barcelona? Is there any truth in the story that they felt you were a bad influence on a young Lionel Messi?
To which Ronaldinho replied, "It was easy – it was time to go. I wanted to follow in the footsteps of [Frank] Rijkaard, who was my coach and said great things about Milan. I had other options, but I wanted to play for Milan. As for that stuff about Messi, it’s not true; you shouldn’t always believe what you read. I always tried to be a good influence on him and actually try to do for him what Ronaldo did for me. I felt embraced by Ronaldo and I wanted Leo to have the same. Messi was always very shy, but always a fantastic player. We lived on the same street, so I had a great relationship with him and his family. Even then I knew he was a better player than me."
Ronaldinho was already a legend at Barcelona when a fledging Lionel Messi started off with the club back in 2004. Now, Messi is touted as the greatest footballer on earth. As we speak, millions of people out there want the Argentine to win the FIFA World Cup 2018. Now here's one drawback of being a footballer who is larger than life. People just don't stop demanding.