Ronaldinho announces his retirement, so here are some of his top soccer moments
The Barcelona legend has a cornucopia of amazing plays, so we took it upon ourselves to select the best
If you -- like me -- grew up confusing Ronaldinho and Ronaldo because their names were "close enough," then you -- like me -- remember the "a-ha" moment when you realized that they are, in fact, different people with different styles. You'll also remember how special they were to watch together. With the announcement that Ronaldinho is retiring, it's hard to look back and think it was ever a question. Their playing styles are so different, and Ronaldinho's was unique in any realm. The Barcelona legend will retire a legend, and deservedly so.
So here's a look at some of the best plays and moments from Little Ronnie's career. Plays that more than stand the test of time. There are dozens to choose from, and any that you'd like to remember, leave them in the comments.
Bicycle kick for Barcelona vs. Villarreal in 2006 (and the reaction)
"AS ELECTRIFYING AS A HAIRDRYER THROWN INTO A HOT TUB, MY FRIEND." Ray Hudson, after Ronaldinho's bicycle kick goal
The only thing more on point than this bicycle kick was Ray Hudson's call of it. As a keeper, what do you even do about this? When a player sets themselves up from the chest like the way he did here, it's almost unfair. Hudson was just waiting for his chance to get a word in, but he was probably shaking looking for the words immediately after the goal. It was the fourth goal of a 4-0 thrashing over Villarreal, but that didn't do anything to make it less memorable.
Ronaldinho's utter domination of England in the 2002 World Cup
England could be forgiven for having a particular disdain for Ronaldinho. After leaving La Liga, Ronaldinho turned down Manchester City to join Milan. But, more than that, Ronaldinho single-handedly dismantled England during the 2002 World Cup years prior in a surgical display.
These were Brazil's only two goals in the match, and they were ultimately the difference in a 2-1 win over England in the quarterfinals. What's more, Ronaldinho was sent off with a red card in the 57th minute, making those two goals all the more ridiculous.
Ronaldinho vs. Real Madrid at Bernabeu 2005 standing ovation
Soccer fans, especially European soccer fans, get a lot of flak, but they know greatness when they see it. This video gives chills:
Ronaldinho did everything -- and I mean everything -- in this match. Viewed by many as one of the greatest individual performances in the rivalry's rich history. The storylines here are endless, but somehow Ronaldinho made himself the story. When Ronaldinho finally capped the 1-0 match with a goal to put Barcelona up 2-0, it felt like an exclamation point. Ronaldinho then buried a second goal to put Barcelona up 3-0, and was given a standing ovation as he walked off the pitch. In a heated rivalry, Ronaldinho had made his point: He was a bona fide star.
Bonus: His best moments in a Barcelona uniform
There were dozens of other moments in Ronaldinho's career that set him apart. His ascension at Paris Saint-Germain, his hip wiggle goal that literally froze the keeper and turned him around, and dozens of dribbles in which he froze his opponents. Ronaldinho was a player that dazzled on the pitch, and his flash only made him more exciting. A lot of his greatness was shared with his idols -- Ronaldo and Rivaldo -- players that he got to share the pitch with. The 2002 Brazil squad that featured Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho in the attack is widely considered one of -- if not the single best attacking sides in World Cup history. With Ronaldinho retiring, he finishes with 167 goals and one World Cup Championship with Brazil.
These two have become very familiar with each other over the last 10 years
The Germans are the heavy favorites, though the Turkish club has been in fine form
This was like a mixture of dancing and playing soccer
This was a scary scene down in Brazil and was so uncalled for
A match between Bahia and Vitoria came to a halt after nine were sent off following a fight...
It's a strong group with no real surprises