You might remember Ronaldinho as a Ballon d’Or and World Cup winner – but how about a YouTube sensation?
The 37-year-old Brazilian called time on his glittering professional playing career this week but 12 years ago he became the trailblazer for YouTube viral videos – starring in the first to reach a million views on the site.
First posted in 2005, the footage sees Ronnie in his Barcelona training kit for an advert for Nike’s Tiempo Touch of Gold boots.
Put the boots on, keep the ball up and bounce it off the crossbar from the edge of the area a few times without letting it hit the ground – beautifully simple.
Of course, the video has been decried as fake ever since it was made, with online forums claiming the ball’s movement suggested a green screen and editing were used to fit the transitions between Ronaldinho’s keepie-ups.
Whether or not the cynics are right, the technique in the video is testament to the Brazilian’s brilliance.
🤩 "From a different planet" ⚽️💫January 17, 2018
Following his retirement announcement, Ronaldinho will be playing a series of farewell matches from August, before focusing on his work as an ambassador of football, charity worker and work with his friends in music.
After starting at boyhood club Gremio, Ronaldinho’s career included spells at Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and other Brazilian clubs.
His greatest success was at Barcelona though, winning titles including the Champions League (2006), two Spanish league titles and two Fifa world player of the year awards (2004 and 2005).
G⚽️AL MORNING!!!January 17, 2018
The Brazilian finished his career with spells to the west of the Atlantic, carrying Brazil’s Atletico Mineiro to their first Copa Libertadores, before playing his final games for Fluminese in 2015 – with a forgettable and brief stint at Mexico’s Queretaro in between.
Ronaldinho recently said in an interview with Brazilian TV: “In football there is not much to explain. Either you’re there or you’re not.
“I want to be remembered for the time I was there.”