Ronaldo de Assis Moreira
(born 21 March 1980), commonly known as Ronaldinho
(Brazilian Portuguese: [?onaw?d???u]
) or Ronaldinho Gaúcho
, is a Brazilian professional footballer and ambassador for Spanish club FC Barcelona. He played mostly as an attacking midfielder, but was also deployed as a forward or a winger. He played the bulk of his career at European clubs Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Milan as well as playing for the Brazilian national team. Often considered one of the best players of his generation and regarded by many as one of the greatest of all time, Ronaldinho won two FIFA World Player of the Year awards and a Ballon d'Or. He was renowned for his technical skills and creativity; due to his agility, pace and dribbling ability, as well as his use of tricks, overhead kicks, no-look passes and accuracy from free-kicks.
Ronaldinho made his senior debut for Grêmio, in 1998. At age 20, he relocated to France to play for Paris Saint-Germain before signing for Barcelona in 2003. In his second season with Barcelona, he won his first FIFA World Player of the Year Award, as Barcelona won La Liga. The season that followed is considered one of the best in his career as he was instrumental in Barcelona winning the UEFA Champions League, their first in fourteen years, as well as another La Liga title, giving Ronaldinho his first career double. After scoring two spectacular solo goals in El Clásico
, Ronaldinho became the second Barcelona player, after Diego Maradona in 1983, to receive a standing ovation from Real Madrid fans at the Santiago Bernabéu. Ronaldinho also received his second FIFA World Player of the Year award, as well as the Ballon d'Or.
Following a second-place La Liga finish to rivals Real Madrid in the 2006–07 season and an injury plagued 2007–08 season, Ronaldinho departed Barcelona to join Milan. He then returned to Brazil to play for Flamengo in 2011 and Atlético Mineiro a year later, before moving to Mexico to play for Querétaro and then back to Brazil to play for Fluminense in 2015. Throughout his playing career, Ronaldinho accumulated numerous other individual honours. He was named in the UEFA Team of the Year and the FIFA World XI three times, honoured as the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year in 2006 and was named in the FIFA 100, a list of the world's greatest living players compiled by Pelé.
At international level, Ronaldinho played 97 matches for the Brazil national team, scoring 33 goals. He represented his country in two FIFA World Cups, and was an integral part of the 2002 FIFA World Cup-winning team in Korea and Japan, starring alongside Ronaldo and Rivaldo in an attacking trio. He scored two goals, including a memorable free-kick from 40 yards out against England's David Seaman, registered two assists and was named in the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team. As captain, Ronaldinho led his nation to its second ever Confederations Cup title in 2005 and was named Man of the Match in a 4–1 victory over archrivals Argentina in the final. Ronaldinho scored three goals in the tournament, taking his total to a record-tying nine goals, making him the competition's joint all-time leading goalscorer.