Ronaldinho’s renewed love affair with the ball lifts Barça
He is a man seemingly at ease with the ball but for a long time last night Ronaldinho’s most telling contribution appeared to Authentic Prada Fairy Bag For Sale be the moment he ran away from it – his diversion allowing Deco to race at the heart of the Chelsea defence for the opening goal. But then a wonderful piece of skill set Eidur Gudjohnsen up for the second 12 minutes into the second half.
In the first half this was the Ronaldinho who has Barça fans worried, not the one they have so warmed to over the past three years. But then, in a flash, a moment’s genius, he reminded them of why they fell in love with him in the first place. A superb flick took him away from Khalid Boulahrouz, lifting the ball over him and racing into the penalty area. A quick look and he played in a pinpoint pass with the outside of his foot, curling away from the defence and into the path All Prada Nylon Bags of Gudjohnsen.
Soon afterwards he nearly repeated the feat, chesting down to send the Icelandic striker through with a delightful lobbed pass. This time the shot flew over but Ronaldinho was back.
Capable of some of the most sumptuous soft-shoe tricks with a ball at his feet, it can seem at times that the ball is part of the Brazilian. This is the footballer who admits to sleeping with his football as a kid; the Authentic Prada Bags Outlet Online little boy who would play all night with only his Authentic Prada Shoes Sale dog, Bombom, for company, long after his friends had gone home.
This is the man who, when asked if he had a girlfriend, replied coyly and untruthfully: « The ball. » He is an athlete, built like a sprinter, famous for his smile, but it is his skill which defines him – the ridiculous rubber-ankled dexterity, the stepovers, nutmegs, bicycle kicks, lobs, backheels and chips. Then there is the cow’s tail, as the Spanish call it, where he spins 360 degrees with the ball on his toe, pulling it Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Messenger Bag across the turf beyond his man, not playing it.
Just to watch him warm up last night was to witness a man apart. As his team-mates ran back and forth across the pitch, he danced and jigged – always with the ball. It was the only ball in the Barça half of the pitch and he flicked it up in the air, rolled it across Bicester Village Prada Discount his chest, pulled it across the turf, kissed it even. All of which was fine – and really rather impressive – but when the whistle blew it was, for much of the first hour, a rather different story.
The Brazil legend Tostao may have insisted that « Ronaldinho has the dribbling skills of Rivelino, the vision of Gerson, the spirit and happiness of Garrincha, the pace and power of Jairzinho and Ronaldo, the technical ability of Zico and the creativity of Romario », but there was little evidence of that until he pounced so marvellously.
In a disappointing first half, he delivered just one incisive pass, a clever threaded ball for Xavi Hernández to run on to, only for the shot to be tipped round the post by Hilario. As he raced over to take the corner, he motioned with his arms for the fans to lift the team; the fans may have wondered why he Authentic Prada Bags Uk did not do more to lift them.
They would have to wait for that. That pass aside, Ronaldinho did virtually nothing in the our web page first half, his best moment coming when he left the stage to Deco in the second minute. The Portuguese international stole the ball and raced forward. Ronaldinho peeled wide, leaving the game to go on without him. It was his finest contribution -Deco ran into the gap left as Boulahrouz followed Ronaldinho and finished brilliantly.
If that augured well, Ronaldinho could not build on it. After eight minutes he leant back and hit the ball well over the bar from near the penalty Authentic Prada Gauffre Bag spot, and time and again he was closed down, his touch was loose, he was second to the ball.
Even Ap Lei Chau Prada Factory Outlet his deliveries from set plays were disappointing. One free-kick swung only into the wall. When he complained to the referee of a handball, it was born more of frustration than belief Authentic Prada Americas Cup Sneakers in winning a penalty. Redemption would, however, come. And it was classic Ronaldinho. Chelsea did equalise in the end, stealing his thunder, but in that moment man and ball were reunited at last.